Saturday, April 3, 2010

Washington Post: Large International Smuggling Ring Planned Expansion to Counterfeit Drugs

The Washington Post reported on a large international counterfeiting ring, operating out of the Port of Baltimore which was recently indicted by a Federal Grand Jury in Baltimore. Nine people were indicted in a scheme to bring bogus goods into the United States from Malaysia and China.

According to the story, this international counterfeiting ring smuggled tens of millions of dollars worth of fake Coach handbags, Nike sneakers, Gucci shoes and Cartier watches into the United States though the Port of Baltimore.

Authorities are reported as saying the ring had hoped to expand into the more lucrative counterfeit drug business and were seeking business partners in the Baltimore area in hopes of finding a market.

The indictments were the culmination of a two-year undercover investigation.

“This was not a mom-and-pop organization,” said John Morton, a U.S. Immigration and Customs assistant secretary, at a news conference announcing the indictments. “This was organized crime on a grand scale. Millions were made by crooks; millions were lost by legitimate U.S. companies.”

This is yet another example of the proliferation of counterfeit goods entering into legitimate supply chains that impact businesses and threatens the health and welfare of the consumer.

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