A man from Cardiff recently pleaded guilty to 12 charges of possession of illegal items. The items included children’s costumes and counterfeit Pokémon toys. The hairdresser has 36 charges brought against him, when Cardiff council found he was selling unsafe children’s fancy dress outfits that failed multiple safety requirements.
This is a problem that’s happening all over the world. Over 26 billion euros and around 363,000 jobs are lost every year in the EU. This is due to counterfeiting of clothes, shoes and accessories. Furthermore, in the UK alone the trade in fake clothes costs UK manufacturers, retailers and distributors £2.6 billion in lost sales and 40,000 jobs.
However, Europol and its associates are constantly working to put an end to counterfeiting and piracy in the European Union. From December 2016 to March 2017, a joint operation between Interpol and Europol was conducted, seizing 230 million euros of counterfeit food and beverages. The operation, OPSON VI, was carried out in 61 countries. A total of 50,000 checks were made on shops, markets, airports, seaports and industrial estates. By the end of the operation, 13 million items had been seized.
Is graphene the solution to counterfeiting?
A few months ago, we reported that a material, graphene, could be the answer to counterfeiting. This is because the graphene is formed of a unique particle pattern, and can’t be replicated. However, there doesn’t seem to be much public development since we reported.
As counterfeit crimes are on the rise, it’s refreshing to organisations like Europol and Interpol working hard to stop them. If you see any counterfeit goods when you’re shopping, immediately report the crime to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or online.
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