February 23, 2005

Best News Story of Tuesday...

Best-Dressed Homeless in the World...

Tue Feb 22, SEOUL (Reuters) - Some South Korean homeless are dressing in style after the government gave away thousands of fake designer garments confiscated by customs agents.

The Korea Customs Service distributed more than 3,500 fake pieces in the southern city of Pusan this month with the permission of the fashion houses whose designs had been pirated.

A customs official declined to name the designers whose ripped-off creations are now being worn by the homeless but said both they and the state prosecutors had approved giving away the jackets, blouses, shirts and pants.

"We hope this will be of some help to the poor who need practical assistance in such hard times," the official said.

Customs agents removed the labels from the clothes before giving them to a welfare agency for distribution.

South Korea (news - web sites) has a vibrant illegal market in pirated designer clothing and customs officials said there would be more handouts.

"We will continue to look for useful ways to pass along the clothes -- it saves us the cost of destroying what we have confiscated," the Customs Service said in a statement.

One homeless man, who asked not to be identified, said he appreciated the fancy threads.

"I don't care about the quality of the clothes, but these designs are quite trendy," the recipient said.

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