Canadian-US collaboration makes big counterfeit haul

US and Canadian flagsA collaboration between authorities in Canada and the US has netted C$6.5m of counterfeit drugs, handbags and wine.

Since starting the initiative in August, police have executed 31 search warrants, made 21 arrests and laid 115 charges. More arrests are expected as police continue to work through the information gathered by the cross-border collaboration.

As well as the usual haul of fake Prada handbags and erectile dysfunction pills, police seized counterfeit versions of tokens to pay for rides on Toronto’s public transport system. The counterfeit tokens were smuggled into Canada in curtain rods shipped from China.

"Canada Border Services Agency members noticed the boxes of curtain rods were much heavier than they should have been," said Bryce Evans, head of Toronto’s financial crimes unit. This led to the seizure of the tokens.

In recent years Canada has taken several actions to stop counterfeiting. Bank notes are now made of polymer and politicians are continuing to work on passing the Combating Counterfeit Products Act.

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