It is impossible to walk along the seafront at Torrevieja without being bombarded by African men trying to sell you something. The main items being offered are watches and sunglasses but you also find perfumes, handbags, gold, jewellery, belts, polo shits and of course pirated DVDs and CDs.
To be fair, although they might be a nuisance, the sellers are harmless. Tell them politely “no gracias” and they will leave you alone. What you should never do is to be rude to them of taunt them by showing interest just to see how cheap they will make the price. After all, these people are only trying to make a living and a hard one at that.
Of course, what they are doing is illegal and they know it. All the time they are selling, these men have an eye out for the local police who regularly try and stop them. When the “lookie lookie” men get caught, as sometimes happens, the goods are confiscated and the police take the names of the sellers.
So what happens to all the goods that get taken away? At least twice a year, the town hall has a ritual crushing. The last occasion was on Friday last week when 21,697 items were destroyed including: 3,185 pairs of sunglasses, more than 7,000 counterfeit CDs, 9,835 Pirate Movie DVD’s, 689 counterfeit branded watches, 419 fake handbags, 124 purses, 50 counterfeit belts, 209 items of clothing, 161 caps and 25 pairs of counterfeit shoes.