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INTERPOL Anti-Counterfeiting Conference

Calls for international co-operation against ‘global menace’


INTERPOL anti-counterfeiting conference calls for international co-operation against ‘global menace’


The need for the public and private sectors to enhance their collaboration against the increasing circulation of counterfeit goods will top the agenda of INTERPOL’s third International Law Enforcement Intellectual Property Crime Conference which opened today.


The conference is the first of its kind in Europe featuring a series of key workshops, gathering more than 390 specialist IP crime investigators, prosecutors and experts drawn from both the public and private sectors from 44 countries. The three-day event (29 September-1 October) is co-hosted by INTERPOL, Ireland’s An Garda Síochána police force and the Police Service of Northern Ireland, in partnership with Underwriters Laboratories.


Describing intellectual property crime as a ‘thriving multi-billion dollar global industry’ closely linked to transnational organized crime, INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble said that counterfeiting and piracy affected all sectors of society and required a global co-ordinated response.


The INTERPOL Chief added that while all types of counterfeiting were harmful, ‘the counterfeiting of medical products is certainly the most cynical and evil form of this type of crime’. Mr Noble cited INTERPOL’s partnership with the World Health Organization within the framework of the International Medical Products Anti-counterfeiting Task Force (IMPACT) as an example of bridging the gap between the public health sector, national police forces, customs and the private sector.


"As with other transnational crimes, no single country can effectively fight the production and sale of counterfeit products. The solution must involve all stakeholders - the public and private sectors, international bodies, and non-governmental organizations - at the national and global levels, for counterfeiting is a global menace which law enforcement alone cannot address," warned Mr Noble.


Ireland’s Garda Commissioner, Fachtna Murphy, welcomed the decision to hold the conference in Dublin and emphasised the impact that intellectual property crime has on individuals, businesses and governments.


“Too often intellectual property crime is thought of as a victimless crime. However, the stark reality is that individuals put their health and safety in the hands of criminals when they purchase or use counterfeit products." said Commissioner Murphy.


With the conference providing ‘an empowering environment’ against the growing international challenge of counterfeiting, Northern Ireland’s newly-installed Chief Constable of the Police Service, Matt Baggot, said: "Intellectual Property Crime affects all our lives in all manner of ways. It is being used by organized criminal gangs to line their own pockets with huge profits. It knows no boundaries - moral, criminal or international."


Keith Williams, the President and CEO of Underwriters Laboratories which is sponsoring the conference, said that today’s economic climate meant that public and private organizations were now combating IP crime with less resources, leading to increased global opportunities for international counterfeiting and piracy networks - ‘a global epidemic’ requiring international co-operation and partnerships.


The conference will be used to launch the IP Crime Investigators College, a fully interactive on-line IP crime training facility for all police, customs, drug regulatory authority and private sector IP crime investigators. The creators of this entity are the INTERPOL IPR Programme, in partnership with UL University under the umbrella of the INTERPOL Intellectual Property Crime Action Group (IIPCAG).



Garda Press Office

29th September 2009    1300Hrs