US support helps Paraguay nab fake electronics

Wii controllersParaguayan authorities have netted counterfeit computer games consoles and other items with support from the US.

In the past two months Paraguayan authorities have seized fake mobile phones and computer games consoles with a retail value of close to $1m.

The seizures come after 15 months of collaboration between Paraguayan agents and US Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), a project which has netted around $34m in fake goods.

Raul Aguilar, HSI Buenos Aires attaché, said: "Training has been instrumental in increasing the abilities of the various agencies within the Republic of Paraguay, and has contributed to an increase in seizures." HSI will continue to provide training to its counterparts in Paraguay.

The focus on Paraguay is, in part, due to the importance HSI places on its borders with Brazil and Argentina. HSI views the region as a potential hotspot for transnational organised crime, a criminal activity it views as a threat to national security.

Among the counterfeits seized in the operation include fake Samsung cellular phones, watches from Patek Philippe, Tissot, Tag Heuer, Bulgari and Hublot and copies of Xbox, PlayStation and Nintendo gaming systems.

More information is available here.

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