LAPD, US Customs Battle Counterfeit Goods Market, Multi-Billion Dollar Industry More Lucrative Than Drugs

In an era when terrorism and illegal narcotics pose a clear and present danger in urban America, why should U.S. law enforcement spend precious resources policing luxury handbags?
Because, authorities say, those fake handbags — and other counterfeit goods — are practically an ATM machine for organized crime.
“More than likely it’s going to finance some other illicit activity, whether it be terrorism, human trafficking, drugs or some such,” said Customs and Border Protection (CBP) supervisor Bryan Nahodil as he surveyed some 16,000 fake Hermes bags seized in Los Angeles.
Counterfeit goods are more lucrative than drugs, according to officers with the Los Angeles Police Department’s Vice Division and the CBP.

Counterfeit goods account for nearly 10 percent of worldwide trade, an estimated $500 billion annually, according to the World Customs Organization.
U.S. Customs officers said the black market for fake handbags, shoes, purses and other luxury goods helps fund other crime rings, including drugs and human trafficking.

The CBP insists importing counterfeit goods is “the same as importing drugs or people.”

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Exploring Human Trafficking, two-day conference, University of Washington

The University of Washington (UW) Women’s Center, UW School of Law, and Seattle University School of Law are hosting a two-day conference to examine the root causes of the human trafficking industry and develop strategies to work towards not only preventing, but also eradicating the trade. ┬áThe program will expand the discourse around the issue to encompass the true scope of the problem, including the many forms of forced labor, and it seeks to connect the dots between the push-pull levers of the industry.

 

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United States-Myanmar Joint Plan on Fighting Trafficking in Persons

The Governments of the Union of Myanmar and the United States; affirming their commitment to the global effort to combat human trafficking, a modern form of slavery that afflicts both of our nations; recognizing the requirements and provisions of the UN Protocol to Suppress, Punish, and Prevent Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the 2000 UN Convention on Transnational Organized Crime; acknowledging the progress made by the Government of Myanmar in addressing sex trafficking and forced labor over the last two years.