Last year, State Police confiscated a large number of counterfeit sports footwear. This year, however, the majority of counterfeit goods confiscated from illegal trade consisted of wallets and bags. Officers confiscated a total of 490 bags and wallets with a total value of approximately EUR 95,000.
State Police have compiled data provided by residents trough ‘#atkrāpies!’ campaign about counterfeit excise goods in Q1 2017. It should be said that the first three months of the year have been especially full of work for authorities in the fight against counterfeit goods.
Police have arrested 543 people in relation to illegal trade of excise goods. Preventive measures performed by officers of Economic Crimes Prevention Office of Criminal Police Department helped confiscate illegal counterfeit goods with a total value of EUR 160,000.
«In the first three months of 2017, police performed 20 inspections in trade locations situated in Riga and elsewhere in Latvia, dealing in possibly counterfeit goods. In 2016, police performed 78 such inspections,» police representative say.
Two criminal processes were commenced by SP in Q1 2017. Ten administrative violation processes were launched by Economic Crimes Prevention Office.
The majority of counterfeit goods confiscated by police last year were sports footwear. This year, however, the majority of confiscated counterfeit goods consisted of wallets and bags. Police confiscated 490 bags and wallets with a total value of EUR 95,000. The volume of confiscated clothes, robes and underwear remains high as well – 371 units with a total value of EUR 46,800 in the first three months of 2017, as reported by SP.
«Counterfeit versions of world-class brands at similar or analogous prices are found in Latvia. These include clothes, footwear, bags, toys, electronic appliances and car parts. There is also counterfeit medicine found in Latvia, including Viagra and Cialis. ENAP operatives have confiscated 110 medicine units this year. All of them have been handed over to the Health Inspectorate and State Revenue Service,» police say.
SP reminds that counterfeit goods manufacturers do not comply with consumer safety standards. Their products can put at risk people’s health. It is also important to note that without safety regulations, counterfeit goods create direct and indirect economic losses, increasing grey economy.
Because the internet offers an easy and accessible platform for trading, an considering that the number of internet users increasing every year, police warn that social networks and other portals are often used to sell counterfeit goods.
«It should be added that the fine for selling counterfeit goods reaches EUR 350 for private persons and EUR 1,400 for legal persons,» SP reports.
In relation to illegal turnover of excise goods, police performed 1,142 raids in the first three months of 2017. During those raids, police inspected entertainment and trade locations. Statistical data shows that 196 criminal processes have been launched in total. 87 of them have been submitted for commencement of criminal prosecution. 543 people have been arrested in relation to violations with excise goods.