Counterfeiting of trademarked goods is a crime and an international problem of enormous scale. The value of the international fakes trade is estimated to be $512 Billion annually.
• Sales of counterfeits may be funding the activities of terrorists and violent gangs. Profits are high and risk is low, making this underworld industry very attractive to criminals.
There is some links between counterfeiting and terrorism. Terrorists need untraceable funds, and trafficking counterfeits is a profitable cash business. Stopping counterfeiters is good policy for national security.
• Sweat shops that produce these goods often use child labor and indentured servants in unsafe working environments.
• Sometimes the products themselves can be deadly such as bogus pharmaceuticals containing no medicine, baby formula milk made with plaster, faulty electronics that catch fire, batteries that explode and counterfeit airplane parts made from soft aluminum instead of titanium steel.
It's bad enough when a 'medicine' doesn't make you better, but in some cases these fakes can make you sicker or –depending on the ingredients- even kill.
It is important for consumers to know where their money is going when they buy counterfeits. Although the victims are not always visible, there is no such thing as a victimless crime. The Business Threat Awareness Council is a voluntary group of professionals from the private and public sectors whose main goals are to improve threat awareness, promote best practices in threat management and business counterintelligence, and to disseminate this information to American businesses. BTAC is a non-partisan and non-commercial organization. BTAC meetings are forums to exchange ideas, alert others to new and existing threats, and to meet like-minded professionals for the purpose of strengthening the infrastructure of America's commerce. A small Customs team that searches shipments looking for illegal knockoffs of...
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