Police Seize 1,000 Cards In Pokémon Counterfeiting Bust

Police Seize 1,000 Cards In Pokémon Counterfeiting Bust

The crackdown on counterfeit Pikachus and Charizards continues. Earlier this week, an investigation by police in Annaka City, Japan led them to a haul of 1,000 cards believed to be fake, including Pokémon trading card game products. The 21-year-old suspect they allegedly belonged to had been caught selling a few of them last year for hundreds each.

As first spotted by the Pokémon trading card fansite PokéBeach, Japanese news outlets reported that police were tipped off to the alleged haul of counterfeit cards by a past buyer. The man allegedly sold four fake Pokémon cards to two customers in October 2022, earning about $US1,250 total in the process. The customers realized something was off, however, and eventually contacted police.

That’s when Nintendo apparently got involved. Media reports say police asked the Mario maker to appraise the cards during its investigation. When Nintendo confirmed the cards were counterfeit, the investigation brough law enforcement to the suspect’s home where they discovered 1,000 fake cards, 400 of which were from the Pokémon trading card game.

Gif: TBS News

The counterfeits included both Japanese and English copies, ranging from original 151 set Mewtwos to highly coveted full-art rainbow Charizards from Sun and Moon’s Burning Shadows expansion. While the man was apparently selling them online, police still aren’t sure who he got them from or where they were printed.

Creatures Inc., a company which partially owns Pokémon, announced last month that it would be working with online marketplaces to crack down on counterfeit card sales. “The production and sale of these products for the purpose of profit interferes with the normal provision of Pokémon card game products and services, and we will take measures to suspend sales and take legal action in cooperation with the operating company of the sales service platform,” the company wrote on its website. “We are proceeding with response, investigation, and consideration.”


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