Members of the Organised Crime Task Force (OCTF) came together at Parliament Buildings today to speak to MLAs about the prevalence of fake goods and products being sold in their constituencies.
At an event called ‘See beyond the price tag’ local politicians were invited by the Justice Minister and chairperson of the OCTF, David Ford, to learn about the real cost of fake goods from law enforcement and brand holders. A large number and variety of illegal products seized across Northern Ireland were on display.
Speaking about the event David Ford said: “Intellectual Property Crime, including the sale of fake products, is not just illegal but it is unsafe, and in some cases, extremely harmful. Fake items may appear attractive but the stark reality is that they carry significant risks and Consumers need to ask themselves if they are content with below standard products, for example, altered chargers, cosmetics or brake pads.
“There are other effects too, profits are often diverted to organised crime groups to fund the supply of illegal drugs and other crimes. It is alarming that people continue to ignore the warnings and unwittingly fund the criminals who inflict harm and misery on our society.”
The OCTF seeks to challenge the view that buying fake is harmless. The Task Force is a positive example of how agencies can work together to stamp out the supply of fake goods from shops, market stalls and online selling sites and not only combat the harm, reputational damage and financial impact caused but also reduce opportunities for criminal activity.