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17 November 2011

Fighting the spread of counterfeits in western Africa focus of INTERPOL training course

OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso - Identifying ways to better combat the escalating problem of counterfeit products across Western African was the focus of a regional training course and operational meeting in Burkina Faso.

The four-day event (14-17 November 2011), organized by INTERPOL's Intellectual Property Rights programme, brought together 80 participants from police, customs, prosecutors, the public and private sectors, intellectual property offices and the Association for the Protection of Consumers.

With wide range of industries affected by counterfeiting – including cosmetics, food oil, pesticides, car parts, cigarettes, fabrics and batteries – experts from the public and private sectors hared their knowledge with the participants, underlining the scale of the problem and the need for a cross-sector response particularly in protecting the health and safety of unsuspecting consumers.

Delegates from Burkina Faso, Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria and Togo joined the event which was officially opened by Mr Palguim Sambaré, Foreign affairs adviser in the Ministry of Security, representing the Minister of Territorial Administration, Decentralization and Security, and attended by Mr Paul Sondo, General Director, National Police Burkina Faso.

Experts from the United States patent and Trademark Office, United States Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security added an international perspective to the event.