SYDNEY, July 5 (Xinhua) — A joint operation led by the Australian Border Force (ABF) has stubbed out an organized crime syndicate and seized over 57 million illegal cigarettes in a year-long investigation.
Aided by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) and Queensland State Police, ABF superintendent Leo Lahey said on Thursday that the Illicit Tobacco Taskforce operation was an example of what can be achieved when authorities pool the resources of state, federal and international law enforcement.
“Working collaboratively across agencies in this way will always be critical to success,” he said.
“These seizures also highlight the critical need to combat the illicit tobacco trade.”
Beginning in June 2017, the complex investigation began with a tip-off from ACIC after information came to light that an organized crime syndicate with links to Southeast Asia was operating in Australia and involved in money laundering and the large-scale importation of illicit tobacco.Lear More
Customs officers in the US have seized a shipment of more than 100 counterfeit replica Super Bowl rings featuring the emblems past champion teams.
If the items of American football-themed jewellery confiscated by border force officials had been genuine, the 108 items would have been worth some $1,080,000.
Authentic replica rings of this nature typically retail for $10,000 each.
The rings, which bore the logos of a number of teams that have won the Super Bowl in previous years, were found in a parcel that had been sent from Hong Kong.
On inspecting the contents of the package, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers noted the poor craftsmanship of the rings, and contacted trademark holder the NFL to enquire as to their authenticity.Lear More
Sleuths of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) have arrested a youth from Kerala at the Coimbatore International Airport for smuggling 3.67 kg of gold. The gold bars, 24 of them, were stuffed into the cavity of a steel roller along with fine Arabian sand.
The seized gold is valued at ₹1.15 crore. The passenger, M. Amalraj (25) of Ernakulam, had arrived at Coimbatore airport on Sunday morning from Sharjah on an Air Arabia flight. He was intercepted by DRI sleuths at the airport, based on specific information. DRI officials found that the passenger was carrying a mild steel roller weighing 13.6 kg in his checked-in luggage. Though the steel roller of 100 mm diameter appeared to be a solid single piece of metal, it weighed oddly, raising suspicion among the officials. They took it to a lathe for further examination.
Authorities on Thursday destroyed some P11.8-million worth of counterfeit goods, including copies of high-end fashion brands, a fraction of the total products confiscated during the first five months of the year worth P6.7 billion.
The activity, which employed heavy equipment that included a road roller, a backhoe, a bulldozer and an armored personnel carrier, was held by the National Committee on Intellectual Property Rights (NCIPR) at Camp Crame.
Witnesses included the representatives of companies whose products were counterfeited, including Louis Vuitton, Lacoste and WD-40, among others.Lear More
Thousands of boxes of fake shoes and bags worth P300 million intended for online selling were uncovered in several warehouses in Baclaran Friday afternoon. The Bureau of Customs uncovered thousands of boxes of fake goods estimated to be worth P300 million in several warehouses in Baclaran, Pasay City.
Customs agents armed with five letters of authority started a series of raids on the warehouses on June 20, Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña said.
Counterfeit bags, backpacks, and shoes that imitate a popular brand were found in the warehouses located in Sunjoy Tower, Bagong Milenyo, and New Russel buildings in Baclaran.
“The operation was conducted after the Customs Enforcement and Security Services (ESS) received a tip that fake items are stored in the buildings and this was also confirmed by brand representative Lee Bumgarner Inc. (LBI), brand owner of shoe and apparel brand “Vans”, said Lapeña.
Around P40 million worth of “toxic” beauty products, branded shoes, and skimming devices were seized at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), the Bureau of Customs (BOC) said Tuesday.
According to the BOC, it has seized 6,500 pieces of Goree beauty products, 182 packages of assorted beauty products, 111 pairs of original rubber shoes, and 1,100 skimming devices.
The beauty products, estimated at P8 million, were seized by BOC-NAIA at the Paircargo warehouse.
“These non-Food and Administration Agency (FDA) approved beauty products were disguised as balikbayan boxes declared to contain personal effects and household goods, consigned to Associated Freight Consolidators and other multiple consignees,” Commissioner Isidro Lapeña said.Lear More
HYDERABAD: Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) representatives have pointed out that stringent enforcement coupled with increased customer awareness is the only way to curb counterfeiting and smuggling of goods, which cause over Rs 39,239 crore annual revenue loss to the exchequer.
Speaking at a seminar organised by FICCI CASCADE (Committee Against Smuggling and Counterfeiting Activities Destroying the Economy) on Tuesday, PC Jha, FICCI CASCADE advisor and former chairman, Central Board of Excise and Customs(CBEC), said the volume of counterfeiting activity globally increased 100 times in the last 20 years and the size of the trade in counterfeit goods was 10% of the legal international trade. “The problem of illicit trade is severe than it is commonly perceived,” Jha added.
As per the FICCI CASCADE report released in 2015, the government losses revenue due to counterfeiting and smuggling in seven manufacturing sectors was Rs 39,239 crore. While the maximum revenue loss of Rs 9,139 crore was in tobacco products, it was Rs 6,705 crore in mobiles phones and Rs 6,309 crore in alcoholic beverages.
Consumer insistence on being issued a receipt for the purchase of goods made as a measure to curb counterfeiting was highlighted by speakers at a seminar in the city on Tuesday.
This will reduce the problem by as much as 80%, former chairman of Central Board of Excise and Customs P.C.Jha said even while underscoring the need for a change in the mindset of consumers to buy only genuine products.
Addressing the seminar organised by FICCI CASCADE (Committee Against Smuggling and Counterfeiting Activities Destroying the Economy), of which he is the Advisor now, Mr.Jha also called for policy level changes and stringent enforcement to tackle the menace. High rates of taxation provided more incentives to the manufacturers of illicit goods since the profitability increases due to tax evasion, he said making a presentation. Improvement in the efficiency of enforcement agencies is also another aspect he sought to underscore.
A report released by FICCI CASCADE in 2015 pegged the loss to the government on account of illicit markets in seven manufacturing sectors at ₹39,239 crore. The maximum revenue loss to the exchequer was attributed to tobacco products, of ₹9,139 crore, followed by mobile phones at ₹6705 crore and alcoholic beverages at ₹6309 crore.
HYDERABAD: To combat smuggling and counterfeiting activities that is draining India’s economy, the State machinery needs to be spruced up to make law enforcement effective. This was the take away from the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) CASCADE seminar on Combating counterfeiting and smuggling, held on Tuesday in Hyderabad.
“Consumers need to be educated about counterfeit goods as these days there is a narrow gap in the quality difference in packaging between the original and counterfeit goods making it difficult to differentiate,” said State finance minister Etela Rajender at his inaugural address.
The speakers pointed out that buying counterfeit and smuggled goods has led to loss of jobs in the country and as these sectors operate outside the taxable economy.Lear More
Counterfeit/smuggled goods are visibly impacting the economy by generating black money, said PC Jha, Advisor, FICCI CASCADE (Committee against smuggling and counterfeiting activities destroying the economy).
The markets are getting inundated with cheap quality goods available at a lower price, thus decimating sales of genuine manufacturers. This grey market adversely impacts the economy, he said at a seminar organised by it in Hyderabad today. Smuggling has become a low-risk, high reward field, Jha said. The penal code is not strong enough to deal with smuggling and the court takes too much time in prosecuting, he added.
Jha called for public awareness campaigns to combat the menace. “For every product you buy, ask for a bill. It solves 80 per cent of the problem,” he said.
“The most dangerous form of counterfeiting occurs in pharmaceutical products, said Gowra Srinivas, President, Ftapcci. Hospital patients often end up getting counterfeit medicines that are hazardous to health, he added.Lear More