NASA scientists and US Customs are cracking down on Chinese counterfeiters after a spate of fake moon sightings. The move comes after the successful touch-down of China's moon-rover, Jade Rabbit. Since then astronomers have reported the existence of thousands of fake moons in orbit.
Despite a combined operation to stop their manufacture more than 243,000 fake moons have so far been identified. However only one has been destroyed, having been blasted further out into space along with a rocket load of fake Beaujolais, Camel cigarettes, Louis Vuitton handbags and L’Oréal cosmetics.
A spokesman for NASA said, “It has been difficult to identify the centre of operations on the moon but, following reports of fake jeans being offered to astronauts in the International Space Station we believe it to be in the Levi-Civita crater over on the dark side.“
With investigations continuing there has been one earthly arrest in Guiyang, in southwest China's Guizhou Province. Details of the arrest have not been substantiated but it is reported that a production line of flea-infested space-monkeys, dissident astronauts and half a dozen cheese vats have been confiscated.
China's Vice Minister of the General Administration of China Customs, Zou Zhiwu, said China is keen to work together with the USA to effectively curb the production of counterfeit moons.
"This is a global issue involving not only the process of moon production and export, but also that of import and circulation into the solar system," he said, at the opening of a new Mars bar factory in Beijing.
Customs agencies are now warning consumers to be on the look-out for counterfeit moons. “The best way to identify a fake moon is by the amount of gravitational pull it gives out. If you are not spinning arse over tit or dribbling up your forehead then you really have nothing to worry about.