Survey: Counterfeiting Surged Towards $1 Trillion (USD) in December

During the month of December the value of counterfeit items sold and seized was $875,252,592,693 USD from 227 incidents involving more than 14,987,023 items. As reported by Gieschen Consultancy, the 8 most aggressive countries that pursued counterfeiters were Malaysia (6 incidents worth $875 Billion), USA (112 incidents worth $93,561,943), Canada (4 incidents worth $54,110,000), Japan (7 incidents worth $35,244,200), UK (12 incidents worth $24,581,300), Taiwan (1 incident worth $9,460,000), China (12 incidents worth $8,499,900) and India (27 incidents worth $6,837,900).

Calgary, Canada January 19, 2005 -- Based on the past month of worldwide counterfeit enforcement activity (investigations, raids, seizures, arrests, charges, convictions, sentences, civil litigation, public announcements), as reported through the DOPIP Security Counterfeit Intelligence Report, more than 227 incidents were analyzed from 35 countries.

The profile of the average counterfeit operation:
?Involves 2 people, averaging 32 years old. The youngest person involved was 14, the oldest was 68.
?Sells more than 17,378 counterfeit items valued at $488,828 USD items before being caught.
?When caught, more than 48,644 counterfeit items are seized.

The most profitable items to counterfeit (based on seizures and losses) include:
1.Financial Instruments, 98 incidents worth $875,036,489,893 (currency, checks, money orders, treasury bonds, credit/debit cards)
2.Other Documents, 30 incidents worth $98,773,810 (degrees, certificates, tickets, licenses, coupons)
3.Entertainment & Software, 32 incidents worth $78,987,800 (CDs, DVDs, software)
4.Clothing & Accessories, 11 incidents worth $14,350,500.
5.Computer Equipment & Supplies, 2 incidents worth $11,400,000.
6.Identification, 26 incidents worth $6,622,990 (passports, visas, drivers licenses, ID cards, birth certificates).
7.Cigarettes, 4 incidents worth $2,885,000.
8.Drugs, 4 incidents worth $2,076,600.
9.Industrial Goods & Supplies, Electronic Equipment & Supplies, Toys, Other Goods, Jewelry & Watches, Food & Alcohol, 20 incidents worth $1,006,100.

For more information:

?The most popular of 66 brands to counterfeit (based on incidents):
?Gucci, Chanel, Coach, Louis Vuitton, Marlboro, Nike, Burberry, Lacoste, Microsoft, North Face, Oakley, Pradda and Sony.
?AMD, American Express, Armani, Baume & Mercier, Burlison-Davis, Callaway, Calvin Klein, Canon, Cartier, Christian Dior, Chrysler, Cimarron Creek, Epson, Ford, Garfield, Guess, HP, Jacksonville Jaguars, Kate Spade, Larsen and Tourbo, Mitchell & Ness, Mount blanc, NBA, NFL, Panasonic, Piaget, Polo Ralph Lauren, Ray Ban, Roca Wear, Rolex, Sean John, Timberland, Titleist, Tommy Hilfiger, and Underwriters Laboratories were also popular.

?18% of counterfeiters use false identification to avoid detection or perpetrate their crimes.
?21% of financial instruments counterfeited, such as checks and credit cards, also involve counterfeit identification.
?Counterfeiters which focus on producing identification profit the most from reproducing drivers licenses (29%), other government ID (25%), passports (16%), social security cards (13%), birth certificates (9%), death certificates, green cards, and visas (8%).
?The most common counterfeit methods are:
?Entertainment & Software, using CD and DVD burners and stamping equipment.
?Financial Instruments, using computers, printers, scanners, and encoder/decoders.
?Identification, using computers, laminating machines, scanners, and digital cameras.

Other interesting facts:
?China is cited as the most frequently used country (44% of the time) to manufacture counterfeit items and ship to other countries.
?35 Countries reported counterfeit activity in December (Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Botswana, Brunei, Canada, China, Cyprus, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Liberia, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Nairobi, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Tanzania, UAE, Uganda, UK, USA and Vietnam).
?27 Entities suspected of involvement in counterfeit activity from 18 incidents were publicized. For more information:
?The current months counterfeit activity:

In summarizing the months activity, Glen Gieschen, Managing Director of Gieschen Consultancy stated "In December, more than 32% of counterfeit incidents involved intellectual property theft (brands, trademarks, copyrights, patents) of which 10,029,829 items were seized. The amount of fake products that are confiscated each month, by customs and law enforcement agents, has increased more than 200% from November. This level of activity indicates an increased effort to remove these items, some dangerous to human health, from the marketplace. However, the amount of seizures also indicates that counterfeiters find this market highly profitable and intend on exploiting intellectual property to fund their criminal and terrorist organizations.

Another notable counterfeit scam that was uncovered in Malaysia and Canada, related to counterfeit financial instruments used as breeder documents for committing fraud. In particular, criminals are counterfeiting negotiable instruments, sometimes in fictitious denominations, likely for the purpose of using as an asset or collateral for obtaining loans or other assets.

December also provided insight into the lucrative trade and manufacturing of counterfeit identification which increased more than 60% from the previous month. Criminal organizations such as are providing evidence of a massive need for counterfeit identification to protect the identities of criminals and terrorists and to perpetrate financial crimes such as credit and debit card fraud, along with numerous other schemes such as check fraud. This practice is becoming more popular as stiffer penalties are avoided when an individual is linked to a single crime vs. multiple crimes in various jurisdictions and countries. This is certainly one of the reasons why national identity cards and biometric passports are being proposed as one of many solutions to this problem. It is likely that entities involved in intellectual property theft will also catch on to this practice as penalties increase."

The full report for November can be purchased from Gieschen Consultancy for $110 USD or $25 for DOPIP subscribers.

About DOPIP SCI Reports
DOPIP is a powerful source of information regarding illegal activities such as counterfeiting, forgery, product tampering and diversion. It provides breaking news reports and analysis relating to document, product and intellectual product security. Security technology providers, enforcement agencies, trade organizations, and brand owners will find this information indispensable for detection, deterrence and prevention. DOPIP SCI Reports is available as an annual subscription for $295 USD.

For more information visit

About Gieschen Consultancy
Gieschen Consultancy, provides counterfeit intelligence analysis and security research relating to documents, products and intellectual property. Gieschen Consultancy educates clients regarding counterfeiting issues, and assists in developing anti-counterfeiting, brand protection and enforcement solutions. Providing the knowledge of the criminal Modus Operandi (methods of operation), legal and political issues, security technology, industry reports and statistical information, effective strategies can then be developed, implemented and monitored.

For more information visit

Glen Gieschen
Counterfeit Intelligence Analyst
Gieschen Consultancy
e-mail protected from spam bots
Phone 403-256-5680
Calgary, Alberta Canada

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