Hundreds targeted in counterfeiting probe

Updated: 2014-09-24 10:36

(China Daily)

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More than 660 people were arrested or put under investigation in a major police operation conducted in 10 Asian countries that targeted criminal networks trading in fake and potentially dangerous products, Interpol announced on Monday.

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Security forces and border agencies in countries ranging from Cambodia and China to India and the Philippines seized counterfeit goods worth nearly $50 million, including alcohol, cigarettes, cosmetics, clothing and electronics.

An organized criminal group operating a factory producing fake cosmetics and packaging was dismantled in China.

The cosmetics were found to contain high levels of mercury, which can be toxic to humans.

On the Chinese mainland, 589 people were arrested, and $37 million worth of illicit goods were recovered.

Authorities in Hong Kong discovered false compartments in container trucks during an inspection, leading to the seizure of more than 600 smuggled electronic items.

In Vietnam, hundreds of counterfeit items were seized from street vendors and shops.

"Many people are not aware of the different types of everyday items that are being counterfeited and traded to profit criminal organizations," said Brian Chan, a criminal intelligence officer with Interpol's counterfeiting unit.

Monday's sweep was not the first major transnational operation of its kind.