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Local business alerted to counterfeiting

Issued: 7 Sep 2010

Trading Standards officers of The Highland Council are launching an initiative to tackle the sale of counterfeit goods within the workplace.

They have written to local employers to advise them of the damage caused by counterfeiting to local businesses, which sell genuine goods.

Recent figures estimate that counterfeiting causes a loss of £6.5 billion each year to the UK economy and the estimated annual criminal gain from counterfeiting is £1.3 billion with £900 million of that flowing into organised crime.

There are many places and ways the counterfeiters use for the distribution of their products. Trading Standards activity in this area, coupled with the sentences being handed out by the courts, has now forced the counterfeiters to move their sales to less obvious outlets. One of the recognised distribution points are workplaces and factories where there seems to be a ready market for these goods.

As a result Trading Standards are actively pursuing a working relationship with local employers to prevent the sale of these products within the workplace.

Alistair Thomson, Head of Environmental Health and Trading Standards, said: "By alerting businesses to the facts on counterfeiting it is hoped that, together, we can substantially reduce the amount of counterfeit goods being sold locally. Far from being a 'victimless crime' it is local jobs in the manufacturing, distribution and retail sectors that suffer. Those involved in peddling counterfeit goods need to be aware of the penalties, which can include loss of employment; a fine and/or imprisonment and a criminal record.

"If anyone knows of anyone selling counterfeit goods in their workplace, they can contact Trading Standards on 01463 228700 or email: trading.standards@highland.gov.uk. The information will be treated in strict confidence."

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