I was just looking at some news and I came across this article, I thought it was kind of funny. Â So remember, next time you buy a fake Armani suit or Louis Vuitton bag on ebay, it could be Osama on the other end of the computer. By Phil Stewart ROME (Reuters) - Before you buy that fake Armani T-shirt or knock-off Gucci bag, remember that you could be lining the pockets of mobsters and terrorists. That was the warning from Interpol during a global conference on counterfeiting Thursday -- a crime which is costing governments and businesses hundreds of billions of dollars a year. "When you buy for example a counterfeit watch, the money is channeled into the pockets of Mafia groups, terrorist groups," said Jean-Michel Louboutin, executive director of police services at Interpol. Trying to rally consumer support behind a global campaign against counterfeiting, officials also warned unscrupulous bargain hunters they could even be risking their own lives. Michel Danet, secretary general of the World Customs Organization, cited a case of falsified pharmaceuticals blamed for thousands of deaths. Delegates at the conference in Rome said the value of lost sales in Italy was at least 3 billion euros ($3.79 billion) a year. Officials did not name specific terrorist groups, but Interpol has said in the past that militants in Northern Ireland were known to be involved in organized crime, trading in a whole range of counterfeit products from cigarettes to music CDs. In another case involving counterfeit car brakes, Lebanese law enforcement authorities shared information with Interpol, which found some suspects had links with terrorist groups. William Dobson, executive director of an industry group against counterfeiting, said companies spent millions a year on private investigators to hunt down counterfeiting operations in China, India and elsewhere. "Just about anything you can buy can, and probably will, be counterfeited," he said. Members of his group, called the Global Business Leaders Alliance Against Counterfeiting, include: Procter & Gamble, Gillette, Unilever, BP, Philip Morris, Heineken and Coca Cola.
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10/22/04 at 9:58pm