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Bolivians arrest 18 Italians for machinery fraud

February 7, 2014

LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) — Police in Bolivia say they have arrested 18 Italians and two Bolivians accused of passing off Chinese-made heavy machinery as German brands and selling the goods for three to four times their value.

Deputy Security Minister Jorge Perez announced the arrests Thursday. The suspects were to appear before a judge on Friday.

Police seized nearly 500 machines, including chain saws, drills, water pumps and generators. They said roughly 40 victims had identified the Italians as having defrauded them.

Police say the Italians were mostly living in five-star hotels.

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