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'If the price is too low, don't buy it' - Gardaí warning over counterfeit goods

Medicines, alcohol, tobacco and even natural gas are being counterfeited.

Image: Interpol via Facebook

THE PUBLIC IS being warned not to buy counterfeit goods, as police forces across the world crack down on intellectual property crime.

Gardaí and Interpol have launched the “Turn Back Crime” initiative, which aims to fight counterfeiting and organised crime.

The forces are warning that counterfeit goods are all linked back to organised crime.

Yearly, counterfeit tobacco alone costs the Exchequer €250 million in lost revenue, with the industry losing around double that.

Gardaí are reluctant to put a cost on the counterfeiting trade, but Detective Superintendent George Kyne of the National Bureau of Criminal Investigations says that it’s not just alcohol.

“We have cases with counterfeit clothing and tobacco, but we also have had problems with alcohol being rebottled and sold on.

“We’re working with the gas industry because of a growing trend in illegal gas bottling, as well.”

He added that people are purchasing counterfeit medicines, something he warned strongly against.

Superintendent Kyne says that his bureau deals with everything from wide-scale rings to market stalls. He says, however that it all flows back to international organised crime gangs.

“We’re telling people that if the price seems too low, don’t buy it.”

1548183_768245659882258_1467640759335127307_o Interpol Secretary General Ronald K. Noble presents the #TurnBackCrime campaign to Pope Francis Source: Interpol via Facebook

A number of Garda operations have seen up to half a million euro worth of goods seized in recent years.

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Interpol Secretary General Ronald K. Noble called on the public to join the campaign.

“Police around the world face and deal with the reality and effects of crime every day.

“Through the Turn Back Crime campaign, Interpol and law enforcement across the globe are looking to engage the public, to make them aware of the very real affects organized crime has on individuals’ lives and empower them to take action.

“Join the campaign. Together, we can turn back crime,” concluded the Interpol Chief.

Read: Counterfeit vodka material seized in a shed in Louth

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