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Counterfeited goods and financing terrorism

 

Did you know that last year, 3.3% of all international trade was in counterfeited goods[1]? The global value is 428 163 165 000 Euro.



                        [1] OECD and EU’s Intellectual Property Office confirmed data for 2019.

 

Handbags

Traditionally consumers are attracted to counterfeit luxury goods, fashion, sportswear, and watches. Why? Because they want to show that they are following trends, can “afford” the popular brands, and want to show-off. Please take a few minutes to read this article and reflect on the results of your actions before buying goods of unknown origin next time.

Who is it that earns money when you buy a fake Tommy Hilfiger t-shirt in Estonia?

The investigations made by national and international enforcement agencies such as Interpol, Europol, and the World Customs Organisation as well as the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) come to the same conclusion - that you will be feeding transnational criminal gangs and terrorist organizations. Yes, it is true. When you buy counterfeit goods, you are as a matter of fact financing crime and terrorism.

You may think that terrorist financing is part of the big schemes finding loopholes in the banking system, but the reality is that terrorist financing takes place through very many small amounts of payments. This makes the transactions more difficult to track.

According to the European Commission website, the Estonian Tax and Customs Board made 359 seizures of consignments containing counterfeit goods in 2018. This is probably only a small percentage of all counterfeits flowing into Estonia.

This trend can only be stopped if more people become knowledgeable about the facts of counterfeits and terrorist financing. Become a citizen hero – stop feeding terrorism!

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