Tag Archives: Counterfeit Goods

City of London Police targets the Christmas counterfeiters in planned raids

Detectives from the City of London Police’s dedicated Intellectual Property Crime Unit have arrested three individuals in morning raids and seized more than 1,500 suspected fake goods as part of a crackdown on counterfeit goods being sold online in the lead-up to Christmas.

The operations that took place on Tuesday 9 December form part of the force’s current ‘12 Online Frauds of Christmas’ campaign which has been rolled out across the country to protect millions of people from falling victim to cyber fraudsters.

Detectives from the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) arrested a 31 year-old man at his home on suspicion of selling counterfeit designer watches online.

Upon searching the man’s home, officers found and seized around 1,500 suspected fake watches from a range of top designer brands which, if sold at the genuine retail price, are worth around £1 million.

With support from Leicestershire Police, the man was taken to a police station for questioning and later released on bail until May 2015.

In Leeds, the unit arrested a 26 year-old man and a 28 year-old woman at two residential addresses following a referral from the Anti-Counterfeiting Group, a trade organisation which represents rights holders in the branded goods sector.

The City of London Police wants to see counterfeit goods sellers behind bars

The City of London Police wants to see counterfeit goods sellers behind bars

The man and woman are suspected to be two of the UK’s top sellers on social media for counterfeit designer goods. Approximately 150 suspected fake goods were seized from the two properties including designer shoes, handbags, clothes and watches.

The individuals concerned were taken to local police stations for questioning and cautioned by officers.

Sending out a strong message

Detective Chief Superintendent Dave Clark said: “The action taken by the PIPCU sends out a strong message to anyone thinking of selling or buying fake goods that the police take this issue very seriously.”

DCS Clark added: “Counterfeit goods are cheap and shoddy versions of the original and the public need to be aware that they are potentially putting themselves at risk by buying them. Not only can fake goods such as cosmetics or electrical items pose a risk to your health but, if you buy any counterfeit items online, you risk having your computer infected with viruses and malware or your financial details being compromised.”

He concluded: “We would urge anyone who thinks they have unknowingly bought counterfeit goods this Christmas to report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or online. Don’t forget… If you believe someone is selling counterfeit goods, you can report it anonymously to the charity Crimestoppers.”

Tim Mascall, director of the IP Crime Unit, stated: “The success of these raids once again shows the value of having a dedicated police unit to co-ordinate the fight against intellectual property crime. The City of London Police’s anti-counterfeiting initiative in the run-up to Christmas is a timely reminder of the serious and insidious nature of product counterfeiting. It’s important for us all to remember that this is not the victimless cottage industry the counterfeiters would have us believe, but rather a well-organised international criminal enterprise often with links to other types of serious crime.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Risk UK News

Fake goods worth nearly USD $1 million seized in Interpol operation

Counterfeit goods worth nearly USD 1 million have been seized in a series of interventions across Eastern Europe as part of Interpol’s Operation White Mercury.

Involving seven countries – Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia – the operation also resulted in the identification of a network spanning three countries involved in the production of fake everyday consumer goods.

An illegal production site manufacturing illicit household detergent was identified in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. In addition to the equipment, more than 10,000 litres of the fake liquid, 60,000 bottles and fake packaging material were seized with the follow-up investigation revealing connections to at least four other illicit manufacturers in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Greece.

Fake toys, shower gel, cigarettes, vehicle parts, electronics and home appliances were seized across all seven countries. In Albania, an entire counterfeit wine production line was identified and subsequently shut down.

Counterfeit vehicle parts seized in Serbia during Interpol’s Operation White Mercury

Counterfeit vehicle parts seized in Serbia during Interpol’s Operation White Mercury

As a result of the 150 interventions and raids carried out by police and customs officials at border control points, airports, roadside checks, shopping centres and warehouses, some 330 people were investigated, arrested or reported to judicial authorities.

Tackling transnational organised crime networks

“Operation White Mercury has again shown that international police co-operation is essential to effectively tackle transnational organised crime networks involved in illicit trade,” said Iliya Pulov, director of the International Co-operation Operational Directorate of the Bulgarian Ministry of the Interior.

“This operation and the work which continues are important in removing potentially dangerous and substandard goods from circulation, and so protecting the public from harm.”

Under the umbrella of Interpol’s Trafficking in Illicit Goods initiative, Operation White Mercury was conducted in two stages from 30 September to 6 October 2013 and from 28 October to 3 November 2013 for more effective intelligence-led interventions in the second part of the operational phase.

The programme assists police across the organisation’s 190 member countries to not only target the transnational crime groups but also identify the routes used in transporting fake goods, which are often also used for human trafficking and drug smuggling.

Leave a comment

Filed under IFSECGlobal.com News