Fake LVMH Handbag
A fake LVMH handbag purchased and shipped from a China-based online site is held next to genuine products on display at a Louis Vuitton store in Chevy Chase, Md., on Oct. 5, 2010. Reuters/Hyungwon Kang

Acting on intelligence gathered during a joint investigation by Chinese and U.S. law-enforcement authorities, Chinese police on Sunday arrested 73 people who are suspected of being involved in the counterfeit luxury-bag trade across national borders.

The police also confiscated more than 20,000 counterfeit bags branded as Coach, Hermes, or Louis Vuitton, while shuttering 37 illegal sites where the bags were either manufactured or sold, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.

The police believe the suspects have produced and sold more than 960,000 such counterfeit bags, China's Ministry of Public Security said in a statement cited by Xinhua.

Local police in southern China's Guangdong Province found in January that one of the suspects and some others were responsible for the manufacture of many counterfeit bags and their export to foreign countries, Xinhua reported.

Subsequently, China's Ministry of Public Security shared the information with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency and proposed a joint investigation, Xinhua said.

Chinese police later discovered the suspects were running illegal sites in Anhui and Fujian provinces, as well as Guangdong. They also found many of the counterfeit goods were exported to the U.S. and the Middle East.