Counterfeit Goods

Information and statistics about counterfeiting and the sale of counterfeit goods. Estimated losses from counterfeits, markets where fake goods are sold, and other piracy statistics are collected from criminal justice programs and public information sources.

A report by the Royal Mint found that there was 44 Million counterfeit British Pound coins in circulation in March 2012. The number of counterfeit £1 coins is equal to 3 coins out of every 100 in circulation.

The number of counterfeit coins in circulation in the United Kingdom is up from previous reports. In 2008, there were 30 million counterfeits in circulation, or 2 out of every 100 in circulation.

Source:  Luke Salkeld, “Number of counterfeit £1 coins doubles in a decade as three in every 100 are now fakes,” Daily Mail, April 1, 2012.

Counterfeit electronic chips and semiconductors causes losses of up to $169 Billion a year to the electronic industry, according to a report by IHS.

Source:  Larry Dignan, “Counterfeit chips: A $169 billion tech supply chain headache,” ZDNet, Between the Lines, April 4, 2012.

The President and CEO of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America stated that the average jail sentence in the for someone selling counterfeit drugs in the United States is 3 years.

Source:  John J. Castellani, “Counterfeit medicine threat knocking on America’s doors,” The Hill, Congress Blog, March 28, 2012.

Sellers of counterfeit passports in Mumbai, India sell the fake India passports on the black market for $294 (15,000 Indian Rupee). Along with Mumbai, police report that many counterfeit passports are created in Nepal as well.

(More prices of illegal goods and services.)

Source:  V Narayan, “Nepal becoming hub of counterfeiters: Police,” Times of India, March 26, 2012.

The World Health Organization estimates that around 10 percent of all drugs around the world are counterfeit. In Less Developing countries, the percentage of counterfeit drugs in circulation could be as high as 33 percent, while in Develop countries the rate of fake drugs is less than 1 percent.

Source:  Ben Hirschler, “Spain, UK raids seize 300,000 doses of fake drugs,” Reuters, March 20, 2012.

New Jersey’s Attorney General’s Office broke up a black market driver license ring where a clerk working in the Motor Vehicle Agency sold legitimate driver licenses to undocumented immigrants in the state.

The actual driver licenses were sold on the black market for $2,500 to $7,000, according to law enforcement.

(Additional prices of fake driver licenses and passports sold on the black market.)

Source:  Elizabeth Llorente, “Black Market Ring Provided Driver’s Licenses to Undocumented Immigrants,” Fox News Latino, March 20, 2012.

The Law Minister of Singapore reported to Parliament that an estimated 300,000 cases of Internet piracy takes place in Singapore each month.

Source:  Teo Xuanwei, “Singaporeans among worst online piracy offenders,” Today Online, March 7, 2012.

Kenyan cigarette manufacturers estimate that counterfeit cigarette sellers make up to $1 Billion a year across East Africa by selling packs of fake cigarettes on the black market.

Source:  John Muchangi, “Cigarette Smuggling In Kenya,” The Star, March 7, 2012.

The Content Overseas Distribution Association, a Japanese organization enforcing intellectual property, reported that 3,300 people have been arrested between 2005 and 2011 in international markets for selling pirated DVDs of Japanese shows and music. During the 6 years, 6.5 million pirated DVDS of Japanese content was seized.

Source:  Mark Schilling, “Taiwan cracks down on piracy of Japanese drama,” Variety, March 5, 2012.


The counterfeit goods economy in the U.S. state of California is worth an estimated $60 Billion, according to the State Board of Equalization.

The California government loses up to $8 Billion in tax revenue to counterfeiting.

Source:  Michael Finney, “Growing black market costs state billions,” ABC 7, February 29, 2012.