Au­thor­i­ties crack down on flea mar­ket fakes

The Pak Banker - - I Nternational -

TREN­TON, N.J.: Used to be, if you wanted a knock­off hand­bag or fake fra­grance, Lower Man­hat­tan's Canal Street was a mecca.

But with flea mar­kets across the coun­try now car­ry­ing the same kind of counterfeit prod­ucts with poser trade­marks, au­thor­i­ties warn that shop­pers may get more than they bar­gain for in poor qual­ity and safety risks while help­ing fund crim­i­nal syn­di­cates in some cases. "If the price is too good, you have to think about it," said Lt. Mike McDonnell with the New Jersey State Po­lice cargo theft unit. "If you see it at a flea mar­ket and it's half the price of nor­mal, you have to think there's some­thing wrong."

The unit ear­lier this month seized more than 5,000 pieces of counterfeit prod­uct at a flea mar­ket in Spring­field, in­clud­ing fake Es­tee Lauder and MAC cos­met­ics that re­tail for more than $300,000. The safety risks of buy­ing fake goods are real, ex­perts say. Counterfeit goods are dif­fer­ent than so­called knock­downs, or cheaper brands. Knock­downs, like items sold by Wal-Mart, Tar­get and other ma­jor re­tail­ers are re­quired to un­dergo safety checks. Fakes usu­ally are smug­gled into the coun­try and un­reg­u­lated.

Safety risks in­clude fake bat­ter­ies that con­tain mer­cury, elec­tri­cal prod­ucts that don't meet safety stan­dards, per­fumes found to con­tain urine and high al­co­hol con­tent, and cloth­ing made with toxic dyes and flammable ma­te­ri­als. And if the po­ten­tial health risks don't scare buy­ers, the eco­nomic risks and po­ten­tial ter­ror fund­ing should, said Robert Barchiesi, pres­i­dent of the In­ter­na­tional An­ti­Coun­ter­feit­ing Coali­tion.

" You sup­port or­ga­nized crime, gang ac­tiv­ity, and ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tions that use this as a fund­ing mech­a­nism," he said. -Reuters

JAMMU: A labourer un­loads veg­eta­bles from a truck at a whole­sale mar­ket in Jammu Thurs­day. In­dia's food in­fla­tion ac­cel­er­ated to a 10-week high in mid-De­cem­ber on ris­ing prices of veg­eta­bles, while the fuel in­dex also rose, adding to in­fla­tion­ary wor­ries in Asia's third-largest econ­omy. -Reuters

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