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15 October 2013 - Media release

Tackling ‘sinister consequences’ of intellectual property crime needs public-private cooperation

DUBLIN, Ireland – Closer cooperation between the public and private sectors to combat the ‘sinister consequences’ of illicit trade and counterfeiting is essential, delegates were told at the opening of 2013 International Law Enforcement Intellectual Property (IP) Crime Conference.

Bringing together some 500 delegates from more than 60 countries, the three-day conference (15 - 17 October) co-hosted by INTERPOL and the An Garda Siochána, in partnership with UL, will address a range of issues behind IP crime.

Pointing to the terror attack on the ‘In Amenas’ gas facility in Algeria in January masterminded by Mokhtar Belmokhtar, known as ‘Mr Marlboro’ for his illicit trade activities, INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble warned of the very real consequences and dangers of criminal and terrorist networks gaining funding through illicit trade and counterfeiting.

“The risk of relying solely on law enforcement services could be too high for the safety and security of citizens worldwide,” said Secretary General Noble.

“We face a reality where our governments have increasingly limited abilities to financially support the fight against illicit trade, a reality where private sector entities are also affected and willing to join this fight.

“Profits from crime could be reaching anyone, anywhere, and INTERPOL believes that now is not only the time to act, but to anticipate, innovate, partner and be proactive,” concluded the INTERPOL Chief, pointing to the successes already achieved though INTERPOL’s Trafficking in Illicit Goods and Counterfeiting (TIGC) programme.

Since its launch in 2012 actions coordinated via INTERPOL’s TIGC programme have already led to the seizure of more than USD 300 million in counterfeit items and hundreds of arrests worldwide.

Ireland’s Garda Commissioner, Martin Callinan said, “The importance of cooperation between the public and private sectors in the fight against IP crime cannot be understated. Consumers are put at risk through the sale of inferior, dangerous goods. Businesses are deprived of a return for their investment in the product’s development. Governments and citizens lose out on revenue and employment opportunities.

“An Garda Síochána is committed to working with partner organizations in order to minimize the manufacture and distribution of counterfeit products, and we are delighted to once again be hosting an IP Crime Conference,” concluded Commissioner Callinan.

“Counterfeiting is an ongoing issue, which is why this conference is so important,” said UL President and CEO Keith Williams. “In order to keep counterfeit goods out of the marketplace, continued education of frontline defenders as well as consumers is critical.”

The opening ceremony of the conference saw John Anderson, Chairman of the Global Anti-Counterfeiting Group officially present the ‘International Public Body’ award to INTERPOL Secretary General Noble in recognition of the world police body’s ‘exceptional’ work.

In addition to plenary sessions, operational workshops and interactive roundtables, the conference will also see the launch of an innovative education pack to raise awareness amongst children in relation to the health and safety concerns linked to counterfeit and pirated products.

INTERPOL International Law Enforcement IP Crime Conference 2013, Dublin, Ireland