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Summit calls for counterfeit crackdown

Conference is to hear a call for Scotland to become a hostile environment for serious organised crime by encouraging people to stop buying illicit and counterfeit goods.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Summit calls for counterfeit crackdown

Conference is to hear a call for Scotland to become a hostile environment for serious organised crime by encouraging people to stop buying illicit and counterfeit goods.

Scotland’s Anti Illicit Trade Summit is the first event of its kind to bring together law enforcement, trading standards, government and industry to highlight the dangers to personal safety and the threat to Scottish businesses from the spread of illicit trade.

Organised by the Scottish Business Resilience Centre (SBRC), and delivered by its newly-formed Scottish Anti Illicit Trade Group, the two-day Summit aims to attract businesses, representative bodies and members of the public to hear of the scale of the problem and the escalating actions being taken to combat it.

The international trade in counterfeit goods is estimated to cost the UK economy around £1.3 billion a year – while also seriously harming local businesses.

SBRC Director Mandy Haeburn-Little said, “Everyone loves a bargain. But people need to stop to think about the true cost of fake goods. Can you be confident that those cheap cigarettes, perfumes and alcohol are actually safe. However, it goes much deeper as those products are likely to have supported child labour or human trafficking or used to fund serious organised crime.

“Illicit trade also hurts businesses in Scotland very hard. People choosing bargains at markets, car boot sales or on the internet impacts hugely on retailers and shops – and less genuine goods being sold close businesses and put people out of work.”

The Summit will feature interactive sessions showcasing examples of fake foods, fashion, gaming, DVDs, music, beauty products and medicines that have been seized by police and trading standards as well as seminars to endorse the importance of iconic Scottish brands such as Harris Tweed.

Experts will also debate how prevention, intelligence and enforcement can be enhanced through collaborative work by multi-agencies; while a unique debate has been organised by the Scottish Youth Parliament and Young Scot to discuss the argument whether it is right to download music or games free from the internet.

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