Counterfeit clippings: news from around the world

Original stamp, duplicated printFifteen fatalities from bootleg liquor, plus counterfeit apps, Swiss seizures, fake anti-burglar tech and a Russian-Ukraine chocolate dispute.

- Fifteen people in the Transbaikal Territory in Russia were killed earlier and dozens more were hospitalised this month after consuming counterfeit alcohol, according to the ITER-TASS news agency. The bootleg liquor was sold under the Deer brand name and was said to be imported from China. The price of branded alcohol beverages has escalated in Russia in recent years, forcing people to seek lower cost alternatives that place their health at risk, says the report, which says around 800m litres of surrogate alcohol is sold to Russians last year.

- Two men in the US have pleaded guilty to counterfeiting apps in the first convictions achieved by the federal government in the fight against this type of piracy. Nicholas Narbone - the head of a group known as Appbucket - and co-conspirator Thomas Dye conspired to share more than 1m copies of pirated apps worth in excess of $700,000 before being shut down. They are due to be sentenced in July, with two other defendants in the case due for court dates next month.

- Swiss anti-counterfeit agency Stop Piracy says customs in the country carried out 5,500 seizures of counterfeit goods in the year, with 75 per cent of commercial goods originating from China and a the majority of illicit goods found in the possession of tourists coming from Turkey. The number of seizures was broadly in line with prior years, according to the General Directorate of Customs (DGD), but remains a concern as key product goods such as counterfeit medicines and watches/jewelry are excluded from the figures. The most-seized items were handbags, followed by accessories such as sunglasses and clothing.

- The manufacturer of a do-it-yourself window protection system used to thwart burglars has warned of counterfeits circulating in the US market.  Global Security Experts say the counterfeit BurglarGARD film kits are compromised in terms of performance, for example they lack multiply film - which strengthens the protection film - and are not optically clear. The knock-offs tend to be sold at up to 50 per cent discount to the genuine article and offer limited or no warranties, said GSS' founder Jordan Frankel. The BurglarGARD film slows down or prevents an intruder from breaking through any home or commercial windows.

- Ukrainian chocolatier Roshen has been accused by the Russian authorities of producing counterfeit products, with production suspended at a factory in Lipetsk, southeast Russia, according to the RT news service. Russian confectionary company Uniconf has reportedly filed a lawsuit seeking $70m in compensation from Roshen, which was banned from importing its products into Russia and Belarus last year.

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