Customers warned of dangers of counterfeit goods

Date published: 19 October 2018

Customers are being warned about the impact of purchasing counterfeit goods particularly in the run up to Halloween and Christmas.

Customers are being warned about the impact of purchasing counterfeit goods particularly in the run up to Halloween and Christmas. 

Representatives from the Organised Crime Task Force (OCTF) Intellectual Property Crime (IPC) sub group will use a stall at St. Georges Market in Belfast to display counterfeit goods and highlight the dangers, particularly health and safety risks associated with “fake” goods from 19-21 October 2018.

Consumers buying counterfeit goods may see the sub-standard materials and replica logos as a small price to pay for cut price designer brand products. However, not only can many of the products cause physical harm to individuals, the impact adversely affects economic growth; purchasing counterfeit goods may ultimately fund an organised crime group and the profits may be used to help finance other illegal activities such as drug dealing and human trafficking.

Anthony Harbinson, Director, Safer Communities at the Department of Justice, and Chair of the OCTF Strategy Group welcomed the opportunity for the IPC group to share advice and support to consumers.  He said: “I want to thank Belfast City Council for the use of the stall here in St. Georges Market. The general public need to think about the impact of every purchase of counterfeit goods. Why help to fund the individuals who make up crime groups and enable them to exert more control and cause even more harm to our communities? Organised crime is driven by profit and can only exist where there is a demand for its commodities. Everyone has a part to play. Please do not support the sale of illicit goods or services.”

D/Chief Inspector Gary Reid, Chair of the IPC sub group said: “The scale of intellectual property crime and distribution of goods continues to grow through the use of the internet – thousands of websites are dedicated to the sale of counterfeit goods. Consumers need to be aware not just of what they are buying but also that using these sites to purchase goods, leaves them open to identity fraud or having their devices and bank accounts compromised.”

Staff from the Department of Justice will also be on hand to advise shoppers about the legal requirement for a fireworks licence if they want to purchase, possess or use fireworks. Customers were also warned about the risks of obtaining fireworks from sources other than a registered supplier.

To report the sale of suspect counterfeit goods contact:

Notes to editors: 

1.  D/Chief Inspector Gary Reid, Chair of the IPC sub group and Anthony Harbinson, Director, Safer Communities at the Department of Justice, will be available for interview at St George’s Market from 10.30am until 11am on Friday 19 October.

2.  The OCTF was established in 2000 and works to reduce the harm caused by organised crime, through multi agency partnership and to secure a safe community in Northern Ireland, where we respect the law and each other.

3.  OCTF provides an essential strategic leadership forum for tackling organised crime in Northern Ireland.

4.  Partner agencies include: Department of Justice, Police Service of Northern Ireland, PSNI, Department for the Economy’s Trading Standards Service, HMRC, Border Force, Intellectual Property Office (IPO),Anti- Counterfeiting Group (ACG),Diageo, TMA (Tobacco Manufacturers Association), FACT (Federation Against Copyright Theft),Imperial Tobacco Group, SuperDry, SKY, Retail NI, British Phonographic Industry, Japan Tobacco International.

5.  More information about the work of the OCTF website 

6.  View the OCTF Annual Report 2017/18

7.  For all media queries, please contact the DOJ Press Office on 028 9052 6444. Out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 028 90 378110.

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