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Trafficking in illicit goods and counterfeiting

About the programme

At INTERPOL, we are working to identify, disrupt and dismantle transnational organized networks behind the trafficking in illicit goods.

Trafficking in illicit goods, is a generic term used by INTERPOL to describe all types of illicit trade. It includes such practices as counterfeiting (trademark infringements), piracy (copyright infringements), smuggling of legitimate products and tax evasion. Selling fake or counterfeit products as the real thing is one aspect of this crime; so is selling genuine goods on the black market to avoid paying taxes. By avoiding regulatory controls the criminals behind these activities typically peddle often dangerous goods with a complete disregard for the health and safety of consumers. The phenomenon has grown to an unprecedented level, posing tremendous risks to society and the global economy.

All levels of society are impacted by trafficking in illicit goods. For example, counterfeiting harms businesses which produce and sell legitimate products, governments lose tax revenue from products manufactured or sold on the black market, and consumers are at risk from substandard products.

The role of organized crime

A clear link has been established between the trafficking of illicit goods and transnational organized crime. Criminal organizations are attracted by the lucrative profits involved in trading counterfeit or fake goods, or in trading legitimate goods through illicit channels. The criminals involved manufacture and trade illicit goods on a regional and increasingly global scale.

Organized crime networks exploit new technology, differences among national regulatory regimes and links between the global economic, finance and transportation systems for their own gain. They use the profits to fund other criminal activities such as drug trafficking, people smuggling and robbery.

INTERPOL's response

Our main activities are as follows:

  • Operations: we support regional and global operations to break up the networks behind trafficking in illicit goods and to remove dangerous  and sub-standard goods from circulation.
  • Capacity Building and Training: we deliver clear, consistent and specialized training programmes under the umbrella of the International IP Crime Investigators College (IIPCIC). These enable investigators to effectively combat current and emerging threats posed by all types of trafficking in illicit goods.
  • Raising awareness: Our global awareness campaign uses online and offline communications channels to raise global awareness and understanding about the links between trafficking in illicit goods and the funding of transnational organized criminal networks.
  • Legal assistance: we provide technical legal assistance (legislative drafting and training) to countries at the request of their respective governments.

We facilitate the sharing of intelligence on trafficking in illicit goods via INTERPOL’s secure police communications system. Data is analysed in order to produce relevant crime reports and to better target our on-the-ground interventions in partnership with police, customs, regulatory bodies and the private sector.

Additionally, we provide a central reference point on trafficking in illicit goods for all INTERPOL member countries and public and private stakeholders. We work to build partnerships with a wide range of representatives across sectors in order to facilitate a multidisciplinary response to this complex issue. We currently partner with more than 40 different industry sectors and a number of cross-industry associations and representative bodies.

As part of this, we organize and participate in a number of international and cross-sector events and conferences. We are interested in cooperating with law enforcement authorities, the public and private sectors in the fight against trafficking in illicit goods. If you represent one of these entities and would like to have further information please contact us.

News
13 julio 2015

Las autoridades egipcias se incautan de armas, drogas y obras de arte robadas en una operación contra los productos ilícitos


25 junio 2015

La campaña “Turn Back Crime” de INTERPOL premiada en el Día Mundial contra la Falsificación


01 junio 2015

Decomiso de artículos falsos por valor de 60 millones de USD en varias redadas realizadas en el continente americano y el Caribe


19 marzo 2015

INTERPOL hosts global music industry anti-piracy conference


16 febrero 2015

Incautación récord de alimentos y bebidas falsificados en una operación de INTERPOL y Europol


31 diciembre 2014

Decomiso de artículos falsificados por valor de 37 millones de euros en operaciones coordinadas por INTERPOL en distintos puntos de Europa


24 noviembre 2014

Una conferencia consolida los esfuerzos regionales para combatir los delitos contra la propiedad intelectual en Próximo Oriente y el Norte de África


23 octubre 2014

Un seminario jurídico de INTERPOL refuerza la lucha contra el tráfico ilícito en la región del Golfo


23 septiembre 2014

Harnessing global efforts against counterfeiting and illicit trade focus of international conference


22 septiembre 2014

Una operación de INTERPOL permite incautar en Asia productos falsos valorados en 50 millones de USD


11 septiembre 2014

El empleo de herramientas jurídicas para combatir el tráfico ilícito y la falsificación, tema central de un seminario de INTERPOL en Polonia


11 julio 2014

Dangerous fake goods seized in INTERPOL operations across Eastern and Southern Africa


04 julio 2014

Moldova police seize smuggled snake venom


25 junio 2014

Kuwait requests INTERPOL Purple Notice after fake car parts used to smuggle drugs


04 junio 2014

El refuerzo de la capacidad jurídica para combatir el comercio ilícito y la falsificación, tema central del seminario de INTERPOL en Paraguay


15 mayo 2014

Cientos de redadas en Sudamérica llevan al decomiso de productos falsos valorados en 27 millones de dólares


03 abril 2014

La recopilación de casos publicada por INTERPOL pone de relieve las relaciones entre el tráfico ilícito y la delincuencia organizada


INTERPOL's Trafficking in Illicit Goods Programme

INTERPOL Operation Black Poseidon - Results

INTERPOL celebra el Día Mundial de la Propiedad Intelectual publicando los resultados de la operación MAYA

Operación Jupiter V