March 16, 2011 § Leave a comment
JOHN CRUDELE’S COLUMN OF THE NEW YORK POST TODAY IS AN INTERESTING recap of a recent undercover investigation into the counterfeit industry in New York City. The Post hired a spy to go underground into the warehouses and supply chain of the fake trade in our own backyard.
The undercover agent found tons of fake clothes, handbags and sneakers. He even overheard conversations between wholesalers and customers “talking about how much they liked these enemies of the US.” One man said he liked Hezbollah, the Middle East terrorist organization. It has become increasingly evident that the sales from counterfeits fund terrorist acts. In a recent FANIF blog post, we referenced an article about a man who was charged for selling counterfeits in order to raise funds for this same group.
The Post started the investigation to show consumers all the millions of tax dollars that were being taken away from the city, but uncovered a much deeper issue. Crudele was left wondering, what percentage of the sales from counterfeits ends up in the hands of those wishing to do harm to the U.S.? The problem is not just in New York City. Globally, counterfeiters are using funds for criminal activities, especially for terrorist organizations.
To check out the full video of what The Post spy found, click here.
March 1, 2011 § Leave a comment
MOST PEOPLE ARE AWARE OF THE CRIMINAL ACTS ASSOCIATED WITH THE SALES of counterfeit goods, while others are still skeptical. A recent arrest is a worthy example of how counterfeit goods are linked to terrorism. (See the full article here).
In Philadelphia a man was charged for selling counterfeits in order to raise funds for the terrorist group Hezballah. More specifically, Hezballah is a Lebonese militant group. The suspect sold counterfeits in the South Jersey and Philadelphia area of the U.S. and was recently extradited back for trial from South America. He has been charged with 28 offenses, including conspiring to support Hezballah with proceeds from the sale of counterfeit goods and cash, stolen merchandise and fraudulent passports. He was arrested in Paraguay last June.
There are thousands of operations such as this one happening across the globe. Criminals see counterfeiting as a low risk, high profit business to fund other crimes. In many cases, the outcome is to support terrorist acts. Evidence has shown that Al Queda training manuals suggest using the fake trade as a form of bringing in revenue to fund operations. All we ask is that you think about what you are contributing to the next time you buy a counterfeit product.