In 2012, government security services in Italy seized 28,000 tons of counterfeit food labels or adulterated products that was falsely labeled during the year. The counterfeit foods seized were worth $684 Million (€500 Million).
47 percent of the counterfeit labels involved Italian wine products.
4.6 tons of fake foods involved canned tomatoes, which were falsely labeled as organic or being produced in Italy.
Source: “Food pirates peddling fake olive oil, Chinese tomato sauce,” Ansa, December 5, 2013.
In 2008, file sharing of pirated content online accounted for 31 percent of all Internet traffic, according to Sandvine, a network equipment company.
In 2013, file sharing activity accounted for less than 10 percent of overall Internet activity.
Entertainment officials attribute the drop to the rise in free online streaming sites. In a study conducted by the National Bureau of Economic Research, when ABC added television shows to popular streaming site Hulu, the illegal pirating of those shows dropped almost 20 percent when compared with a control group.
Source: Joshua Brustein, “Want to Fight Off Content Pirates? Just Stream Your Show for Free,” Bloomberg Businessweek, December 2, 2013.
According to the Chairman of the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Hong Kong, up to 90 percent of all cancer drugs in Hong Kong are bought by residents of mainland China.
The mainlanders illegally buy the cancer drugs such as Herceptin in Hong Kong due to concerns about the medical counterfeit drugs and other safety issues. In addition, the cost to purchase drugs is cheaper than on the mainland. One man who was buying breast cancer treatment drugs for his wife stated that he would saave over $1,313 (8,000 Yuan) buying Herceptin in Hong Kong than in China.
Source: AFP, “Hong Kong’s illegal cancer drug trade driven by mainland buyers,” Google News, December 2, 2013.
During a ten year span, 15 people were convicted for human trafficking crimes in Australia, according to research conducted by the Australian Institute of Criminology.
8 of the 15 were women.
The institute found that all of the women traffickers were born in the same foreign country as the victims and typically came from the same socio-economic status.
According to security services in Australia, none of the people convicted for human trafficking had links to organized crime. The traffickers were generally small operations that relied upon business or family contacts to recruit victims.
In addition to human trafficking, these traffickers in Australia committed immigration fraud such as fake identifications and visa permits, as well as various money laundering violations.
(Price of human trafficking victims.)
Source: Australian Associated Press, “Human traffickers are mostly women, Australian Institute of Criminology report finds,” Sydney Morning Herald, November 28, 2013.
The academic journal Science reported that scientists in China pay between $1,500 to $24,850 to have their names listed as authors in academic papers.
One such paper that offered authorship for sale included a study on Alzheimer that was published in a legitimate Canadian journal.
The black market in authorship has around 27 Chinese companies that offer editing and research services. According to Science, the companies offer slots on papers written by legitimate scientists, plagiarize a separate paper, or create fake data and write a completely new paper.
Previously, the Economist magazine reported that fake research and academic papers industry in China generated $150 Million a year.
Source: Margaret Munro, “China’s academic ‘black market’ fooled Canadian journal, report says,” Province, November 28, 2013.
Police in Macedonia arrested a man who was selling counterfeit degrees to the State University of Tetovo, a legitimate university.
The man was selling the fake degrees to customers located in Italy for $34,000 (€25,000).
Educational officials and security agencies reported that between 18 counterfeit university diplomas and 49 fake high school diplomas have been seized in Macedonia between 2008 and 2012.
Source: Miki Trajkovski, “Police planning to stop counterfeit degrees,” SETimes.com, November 28, 2013.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police saw an increase in the number of cases involving harmful counterfeit goods between 2005 and 2013.
In 2005, harmful counterfeits were involved with 11.5 percent of cases. By 2012, there were over 200 cases, or 30.4 percent of cases, that involved harmful fakes of toys, drugs, cosmetics, batteries and electronics.
In 2012, the counterfeit good that was most seized by the RCMP was counterfeit clothing and shoes, which accounted for 45 percent of all counterfeits seized, followed by pirated movies and music with 20 percent.
Source: Rita Demontis, “Beware of counterfeit goods on Black Friday,” Toronto Sun, November 28, 2013.
Romania’s Custom Service stated in a report that about 50 percent of all “brand name” products that are available for sale in retail shops in Romania are actually counterfeit.
Counterfeit goods from China enter the Romania market through smuggling routes that pass through Moldova and Ukraine.
Some of the items seized by security services in 2013 included thousands of counterfeit Bulgari, Patek Philippe and Rolex watches, as well as counterfeit cosmetics destined for the Britain market. Romania also has the highest number of counterfeit toys seized within its border each year.
The country has also become the starting point for smugglers moving contraband across European Union members. Fake luxury goods, smuggled tobacco and illicit drugs are smuggled from Turkey through Bulgaria and into Turkey on its way to various EU markets.
Source: Jon Coates, “Britain to be hit with a flood of fake goods as migrants swarm in,” Sunday Express, November 24, 2013.
According to a news report in Tampa, Florida, the profit margin for selling a single counterfeit lipstick from popular makeup company MAC could be as high as $10.
The investigative news team for ABC Action News in Tampa bought a MAC lipstick off of eBay for $13. According to MAC employees, the lipstick was fake. The legitimate version sells for $15 in MAC retail stores.
When the reporters contacted the counterfeit lipstick seller on eBay, she directed them to the name of a website from China where she bought her inventory. On that website, the price to purchase the lipstick from China was less than one dollar.
Source: Adam Walser, “Counterfeit MAC makeup prevalent in Bay area,” ABC Action News, November 21, 2013.
The news program Four Corners in Australia reported that human smugglers sell passports and visa documents to Australia for $15,000 (16,000 AUD). The black market sellers claimed that a recent customer purchased a valid visa and passport issued by Bahrain, and was able to use the documents to board a plane to Australia.
The smugglers tell their customers to rip up the passport and visa on the plane before landing in Australia. Once on Australian soil, the person is able to apply for asylum.
(Additional prices of black market goods.)
Source: Sarah Ferguson, “People smugglers selling asylum seekers passports and visas for entry to Australia by plane,” Australian Broadcasting Corporation, November 19, 2013.