ISTANBUL, Turkey – Identifying ways to target and dismantle transnational organized crime groups involved in the manufacture and distribution of counterfeit goods was the focus of an Intellectual Property (IP) regional crime training and operational meeting co-hosted by the INTERPOL IPR Programme, Europol and the Turkish National Police.
Attended by 45 police and customs officers from 26 countries, the two-day meeting (2-3 December) focused on identifying common denominators affecting all of the countries and enabled participants to develop a better understanding of where collective law enforcement efforts would have the most impact in the region. It concluded with an agreement to examine how countries could work together to carry out cross-industry interventions.
“Bringing together specialists from both the public and private sectors is essential in making sure that the frontline officers are provided with the expertise and training they need to carry out effective operations targeting transnational crime groups involved in counterfeiting and piracy,” said John Newton, INTERPOL’s IP rights programme manager. “INTERPOL will continue to support all of our member countries in ensuring that their officers are provided with the tools they need to combat these crimes.”
“Co-hosting this event underlines Turkey’s commitment to playing a central role in co-ordinating the regional efforts of police, customs and the private sector to ensure that the counterfeiting of many product types, some of which affect the health and safety of consumers, is treated with the seriousness it deserves,” said Mr Ismail Bas, Head of State Security Department of Turkish National Police.
The regional meeting was preceded by a three-day IP crime international training delivered by the co-hosts which was attended by police and customs officers, as well as prosecutors and other officials from across Turkey. Both events were made possible thanks to European Commission TAIEX funding.
“This joint initiative, supported by the European Commission, illustrates the strong and effective co-operation established between Europol and INTERPOL in combating Intellectual Property Crime,” said Carlo van Heuckelom, Head of Europol’s Criminal Finances and Technology Unit. “These measures will help to strengthen law enforcement's response to counterfeit commodity crime, to ultimately disrupt and dismantle those organised crime networks who are putting the safety of EU citizens at risk.”
Subject matter experts and IP crime specialists were joined by representatives from a range of industry sectors affected by counterfeiting and piracy. Countries present included Albania, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Georgia, Greece, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine.