Seen and heard: counterfeiting news in brief

Supreme wins against fakers, counterfeit euros, stainless steel sinks and caches of knock-off and smuggled cigarettes.

Sportswear company Supreme triumphs in anti-counterfeit lawsuit

New York sports and streetwear firm Supreme has successfully won civil lawsuits in Italy and San Marino against counterfeiters of its products after 120,000  knock-off products were seized in enforcement operations, reports its legal representation NCTM. Thanks to lucrative tie-ups with other brands such as Louis Vuitton on leather goods, apparel, accessories, and footwear, the brand is now valued at $1bn – given that half the company was sold to private equity company Carlyle Group last year for $500m.

ECB reports uptick in euro counterfeiting

The European Central Bank (ECB) withdrew 363,000 counterfeit euro banknotes from circulation in the latter half of 2017, an increase of almost 10 per cent on the first half of the year and 2.8 per cent more than in the same period of 2016. It notes however that the increase needs to be placed in the context of the number and value of euro banknotes in circulation, which grew by around 6 per cent and 4 per cent respectively, over the course of 2017. Around 85 per cent of the counterfeits were €20 and €50 banknotes.

Irish customs seize €1m-worth of smuggled cigarettes…

Irish Revenue officers have seized two million smuggled cigarettes dispatched from Dubai at Dublin Port with an estimated retail value of more than €1m, which would have deprived the government of around €890,000 in tax revenue. The smuggled cigarettes, branded “Richman”, were detected when the consignment, addressed to Dundalk and said to be of ‘household goods’, was selected for examination following routine profiling, it says in a statement.

…while UK man is sentenced in fake cigarette case

A UK man has been sentenced to two years in jail (suspended for two years) and 240 hours unpaid work after pleading guilty to evading £210,000 in duty on counterfeit cigarettes smuggled into Southampton Port in a container, according to HM Revenue & Customs. Mitchell Scott, 59, was arrested by HMRC officers in Hove on February 1, 2017 after Border Force staff discovered 642,200 counterfeit Marlboro cigarettes hidden in a shipping container arriving at Southampton Container Port.

Counterfeit sinks intercepted by Baltimore CBP

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized 2,990 counterfeit stainless steel sinks that – if authentic – would have a retail value of more than $1m.  The fakes bore a counterfeit UPC (Uniform Plumbing Code) shield design and were intercepted en route to Maryland from Malaysia. The CBP says it examined the shipment for anti-dumping and countervailing duties enforcement and determined the sinks were fraudulently marked after consultation with the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials, which owns the UPC trademark.

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