Mon | Jan 21, 2019

Space shortage cramps CTOC’s ability to seize more fake goods

Published:Wednesday | April 25, 2018 | 12:00 AM
ASP Victor Barrett

The Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime (C-TOC) Branch of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) says it could seize fake goods valued as much as $100 million weekly, but the organisation is hamstrung by a lack of storage.

Assistant Commissioner Police Fitz Bailey made the disclosure yesterday following a Gleaner Editors' Forum discussing issues relating to intellectual property rights to mark Jamaica International Property Office (JIPO) Week.

"You see the amount of goods we have seized already; we could seize goods valued more than $100 million weekly if we had space to store it," Bailey disclosed. "When you seize two containers of fake goods, where are we going to store it? You can't just store it anywhere. I am telling you that if we had the space, you would see far more seizures," he said.

The forum was also told that, once goods are seized, and arrests have been made, the matters have to be taken to court and judgment handed down and then the goods destroyed.

Bailey said that C-TOC worked in tandem with copyright holders to protect their products, such as over-proof rum, quantities of which are on the market.

Assistant Superintendent of Police Victor Barrett indicated that there was a variety of fake goods on the market.

"There are some brands of toothpaste on the market that people just pick up without reading the labels. The cheap price should alert them to question the product. But people just take it up and go and become ill from using them," he said.

Barrett said consumers and copyright holders had a responsibility to notify C-TOC when fake goods are seen. The branch has made several seizures since the start of the year, with a total value of $615 million to date.

JIPO is the primary agency with responsibility for matters relating to intellectual property rights in Jamaica and has the critical mandate to establish and administer a modern and effective intellectual property system.

The week's activities will end on Friday.