Proceeds from counterfeit goods funding organised crime - ACP Bailey
Assistant Commissioner of Police Fitz Bailey, head of
the Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime (C-TOC) Branch, has said that proceeds from the sale of counterfeit goods are being used to support organised crime.
Speaking at a Gleaner Editors' Forum at the company's North Street offices yesterday, Bailey revealed that C-TOC seized fake goods worth approximately $1.2 billion last year, with a further estimated $615 million worth since the start of the year.
Bailey further pointed out that 33 arrests were made last year in connection with fake stock, with a further nine this year.
"I'm not saying that all the proceeds are going towards it (crime), but there's a linkage normally with counterfeit and organised crime," said Bailey. "For instance, persons who are involved in counterfeit cigarettes and the sale of DVDs and CDs, a lot of the times the proceeds are used to support organised crime," he added.
Bailey's disclosure comes just one week after C-TOC seized more than $100 million in counterfeit clothes and shoes in an operation on Barry Street in downtown Kingston. The raid, which was conducted on two adjoining Chinese-operated stores, resulted in two persons being arrested and charged with unauthorised use of trademark and breaches of the Customs Act and the Consumer Protection Act.
"As a branch, we will go wherever we need to go to treat with the issue of counterfeit. Wherever the evidence leads, wherever we identify assets, we will apply the Proceeds of Crime Act to seize the property," Bailey concluded.