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Seen and heard: counterfeiting news in brief

China jails infant formula fakers; IS and mafia collusion?; fake Nokia 3310s; fentanyl reaches UK; and UK police seize Cisco fakes.


China jails 11 people for faking baby formula products

The Chinese authorities have sentenced 11 people to jail after convicting them of making and selling counterfeit copies of infant formula brands manufactured by multinational Abbott and domestic producer Beingmate, reports china.org.cn. The defendants received sentences of between three and 15 years for their part in substituting "cheap and inferior" formula, an activity that netted them illicit proceeds of between 1.2m and 3.5m yuan ($178,000-$534,000). A can-making company based in Shandong province was fined 4m yuan by the Shanghai court.


Mafia and ISIS "may have colluded on fuel smuggling"

Italian police are investigating reports that organised crime syndicates in the country partnered with Islamic State terrorists to smuggle crude oil from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, according to OCCRP.org, which cites an article in Italian newspaper La Repubblica. The probe is focusing on an excess of crude coming through refineries that, it is suspected, could originate from Libya and Syria where IS "has a strong presence." OCCRP notes that in Syria, ISIS had control of several oil fields while in Libya it is unclear whether it is in possession of fields and refineries.


Fake Nokia 3310s in the market

HMD Global has warned that counterfeits of its re-launched Nokia 3310 device - harking back to the iconic handset of the early 2000s - are already being encountered in some markets, including the Philippines, according to rappler.com. The website reports that fake handsets have been seen "in various places in the country as well as in the online marketplace." The company - which says it has also seen counterfeits in other markets such as Thailand - said in a statement that it "is sending out a clear message not to purchase these counterfeit phones and alerting consumers that such devices do not have the genuine brand and quality consumers love from Nokia phones." The new Nokia 3310 went on sale in June.


Fentanyl-laced drugs kill "at least 60" in UK

Heroin laced with the ultra-potent painkiller fentanyl and variant carfentanyl - which are also found in counterfeit opioid analgesics - has claimed the lives of dozens of addicts in the UK, according to a BBC report. Most of the deaths were in Yorkshire, Humberside and Cleveland, according to the National Crime Agency (NCA). As of yesterday four men had been charged with importing, supplying and exporting supplies of the synthetic opioids purchased via the Dark Web.


UK police size fake computer networking parts

UK police have seized more than 1,000 counterfeit computer hardware components with an estimated value of almost £1m ($) from an address in Herne Bay, Kent, says Sky News. The raid took place after a tip-off from IT networking company Cisco, which sent experts along with the police to help identify the fake goods. The technology, when not counterfeited, is crucial to the operation of IT systems in organisations around the world; had the counterfeit items been purchased and ultimately failed, they could have had the potential to cause disruption to the users and damage business operations.


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