Counterfeit and illicit goods: “Bargains” that come at a high price

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By Kotie Geldenhuys
Photos by Kotie Geldenhuys and courtesy of the SAPS

The global issue of the manufacturing and distribution of counterfeit goods is a multi-billion dollar challenge with significant economic and health implications for governments, businesses and consumers. Counterfeiting pervades various aspects of our lives, impacting the food we consume, the entertainment we enjoy, the medicines we rely on and the clothing we wear. Unfortunately, the association between counterfeit products and transnational organised crime is frequently disregarded, overshadowed by the pursuit of a bargain.

Counterfeit products are frequently offered at significantly reduced prices in comparison to authentic items, making them attractive to cost-conscious consumers. The common types of counterfeit goods entering the market encompass clothing, footwear, accessories, electronics, furnishings, imitation perfumes, sports equipment and various fashion items. All these represent a form of intellectual property theft.

Customs fraud on the other hand, manifests in scenarios such as the passage of undeclared goods through customs inspections or the misdeclaration of the value and/or nature of products.


[This is only an extract of an article that is published in Servamus: April 2024. This article is available for purchase.]

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