Seen and heard: counterfeiting news in brief

Counterfeit medicines, condoms and food, plus Canadian Pacific Mall’s response to its notorious markets listing.

Five to stand trial in UK for money laundering fake meds cash

Four men and woman accused of laundering cash from the sale of falsified and unlicensed medicines will stand trial next month at Southwark Crown Court in London, UK. David Cohen (37), Mindy Gross (42), Jacob Gross (44), Edward Cohen (65), and Maurice Gross (37) are facing 14 charges in the case, which centres around the purchase of counterfeit medicines in mainland Europe for sale in the UK. It is alleged that £19m (around $26m) from the sale of fake goods passed through the defendants’ bank accounts.

Counterfeit condoms rife in China, says Xinhua

Counterfeit copies of popular condom brands including Durex, Okamoto and Jissbon are being sold in large quantities in China through websites such as Alibaba and, according to the state-owned Xinhua news agency, as reported in The news article says there is a complete, end-to-end supply chain for falsified condoms in the country, resulting in fake packs being sold for as little as 0.42 yuan rather than around 10 yuan for the genuine product. The counterfeits are soaked in ‘inferior silicone oil’ and produced in rooms ‘full of sewage’, says the newswire.

Scotland’s drug-related death epidemic ‘gathering pace’

Scotland has been wrestling with an epidemic of drug-related deaths – with the rate more than doubling in the last 10 years – but it seems there is worse to come. A surge in counterfeit ‘street Valium’ tablets bought online in ‘enormous quantities’ from China, which saw 12 fatalities in the Dundee area alone last month, is behind the recent spike, according to an article in The Times. The fake tablets can be had for as little as 30 pence apiece. “The amount of people dying, not only in Dundee but nationally, means that action now needs to be taken,” says the Addaction charity’s Dave Barrie in the article. The UK is reported to be the second-largest market for global online sales of anti-anxiety medications via the dark web.

Ontario’s Pacific Mall in counterfeit clampdown?

One of Canada’s most notorious retail outlets for counterfeit goods – Pacific Mall in Markham on the outskirts of Toronto – has said it is implementing “stringent internal measures” to tackle the issue and sending warnings to store owners who peddle trademark-infringing goods, according to The move comes after the Chinese- Canadian mall was highlighted in the US Trade Representatives Special 301 report on notorious markets last month. USTR said in the report that the vendors in Pacific Mall “appear to operate largely with impunity, and requests for assistance from local law enforcement have reportedly gone unanswered. Many of the counterfeit goods including cosmetics, sunglasses, and fragrances pose a risk to public health and safety.”

Nigerian customs intercept illicit pharma, food products

Nigerian customs seized 8,245 cartons of falsified Tramadol and Tramaking opioid painkillers – as well as other malaria and analgesic drugs – at the port of Onne, according to local media reports. The value of the counterfeit medicines was around N400m ($1m), reports The Tide news. The customs service also intercepted 4,120 containers of rice from Thailand valued at around N65m. IN both cases the shipping bills attempted to disguise the contents of the containers, with the pharmaceuticals listed as pressure reducing and PVC valves and the rice listed as sewing machines.

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