OpSec Blog

 Insights on Anti-Counterfeiting & Brand Protection Solutions


Posted by admin on Oct 28, 2011 7:36:56 AM
Halloween: Frightening Counterfeit Tales!

Take a look at some of this year’s spooky and scariest headlines and news in counterfeiting.

Counterfeit Vodka That Can Cause Blindness

Counterfeit vodka that can cause vision loss has been seized by trading standards officers in Swansea.  A legal case is now underway against a city shop found selling it.

Trading standards officers say it is just the latest of a number of counterfeit vodka sales and they add they have confiscated hundreds of bottles in recent years.  Vodka is featured in a long list of counterfeit items the team has confiscated in recent months
.  WalesOnline.co.uk

Your “Down” Jacket is Actually Stuffed With Mulched Chicken Feathers, Chicken Feet, Chicken Beaks and Feces

Talking about knockoff jackets with Kevin Spreekmeester, the global marketing vice president for outdoor clothing company Canada Goose, is a bit like chatting with a detective. Soft-spoken and slight, Spreekmeester is surprisingly calm, even when discussing illegal and distressing subjects.

“We know the counterfeit product is coming out of China,” he says as we examine a tomato-red jacket designed to look like one of Canada Goose’s own. “We know that child labor is involved. And we know that it funds organized crime.” If you’re like me, you’ve probably always known that buying a fake Fendi is “bad” to the degree that making and selling such fraudulent products is illegal. But it turns out that knockoffs are problematic in many other ways as well -  one such problem being counterfeit jackets stuffed with chicken parts. DailyFinance.com

Not Only Goods, But Entire Stores Being Knocked-Off

No longer are the days when only products are knocked-off.  Counterfeit Apple retail stores, complete with blue t-shirt-wearing employees claiming to work for the company, have been discovered in China. According to the blog BirdAbroad (via ifoAppleStore), several counterfeit Apple stores have popped up in Kunming, China. One such location featured a winding staircase and employees in t-shirts with Apple logos and name tags.  Apple Insider.

KUNMING, China — Nestled in a sleepy southern district of Kunming city in southwest China, is a 10,000 square metre, four-storey building that could make Swedish furniture giant Ikea uneasy.  11 Furniture, as the store is known, copies Ikea’s blue and yellow colour scheme, mock-up rooms, miniature pencils, signage and even its rocking chair designs. Its cafeteria-style restaurant, complete with minimalist wooden tables, has a familiar look, although the menu features Chinese-style braised minced pork and eggs instead of Ikea’s Swedish meatballs and salmon.  This knock-off Ikea store is emblematic of a new wave of piracy sweeping through China. Increasingly sophisticated counterfeiters no longer just pump out fake luxury handbags, DVDs and sports shoes but replicate the look, feel and service of successful Western retail concepts — in essence, pirating the entire brand experience.  Calgary Herald.

Fake Uggs Lined with Fur from Raccoon Dogs

Shocking video has surfaced which shows raccoon dogs being skinned for the purpose of making fake Ugg boots.

Warning: Graphic material

The disturbing footage, reported by The Sun, shows the raccoon dogs being killed for their fur.  The Chinese-bred animals are used for their soft fur, which substitutes for the Australian sheepskin used in authentic Uggs. Fake Uggs sell for just a fraction of the price, but those who have opted for the replicas may change their mind after learning the ugly truth about the fuzzy fur that keeps their feet warm.  Mark Jones, the UK director of Humane Society International, told the Sun: “The raccoon dogs routinely endure unspeakable suffering. They die a slow, agonising death, their bodies raw and bloody…There is no UK ban on their fur so it’s possible these phoney boots could enter the high street.” The Huffington Post.

Before You Take Another Sip, Make Sure You Known What’s Actually in Your Wine Bottle!

Chinese counterfeiters have added a new item to the production line: vintage French wine. Impossible to tell a genuine bottle from a fake one, many unsuspecting customers will remain none the wiser until their first sip. And even then, only a connoisseur may be able taste the difference.  “A bottle of wine is very easy to replicate,” Sheng Wen*, a wine seller from Shanghai, told FRANCE 24. “The counterfeiters search for original bottles in restaurant trash. Once they’ve got hold of one, they reproduce the label and replicate the bottle. They then buy mid-range bottles of wine from the supermarket, pour them into the fake bottles, and sell them.”  France24.

Fake Medicines That Not Only Make You Sicker, But Can Be Deadly

The manufacturing, distribution, and sale of counterfeit medicines pose a serious risk to consumer health.  There have been thousands of reported cases where counterfeit drugs have lead to health complications and other grave outcomes – even death. The loss of revenue and negative impact to the economy is substantial, as this nefarious industry amounts to $200 billion per year.  In 2009, the Pharmaceutical Security Institute released a study depicting the industry as a growing “money machine,” as sales of counterfeit medicines nearly double the amount generated by legitimate pharmacies.  “You can make more money in counterfeit drugs than heroin,” Tom Kubic, CEO of PSI, told USA Today.” There’s a major financial incentive for criminals because of the low risk of detection and prosecution.” Many counterfeit products are manufactured in Asia, and are distributed around the world. This illicit trade even occurs in developing countries where life-threatening diseases are most prevalent. In Africa, an estimated 100,000 people per year are killed by fake or altered anti-malarials, and some 85 percent of the continent’s population has taken substandard pharmaceuticals purchased from rogue pharmacists on the streets or in markets.  The Dangers of Counterfeit Pharmaceuticals.

To report counterfeit medicine or to learn about accredited pharmacies, visit FDA.gov or napb.net.

Learn about OpSec’s Brand Protection solutions, and join our Get Real! Facebook page to stay up to date on the latest in anti-counterfeiting pharmaceutical news and legislation.

Topics: Luxury Goods, Pharmaceuticals, Consumer Goods