Media Release: AFP cracks down on organised counterfeiting

Release Date: Tuesday, September 14 2010, 02:00 PM

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) has today executed 21 warrants across Australia in relation to the organised selling and distribution of counterfeit and pirated goods.
Starting early this morning, Federal Agents entered businesses premises, residences and vehicles in Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney, seizing counterfeit software, pirated CDs and DVDs, computers and counterfeit luxury items such as bags and jewellery.

The investigations cover a number of alleged offences, including the selling of counterfeit computer software, pirated music and films, counterfeit clothing and handbags, and the illegal transmission of sporting content.

AFP Acting Manager Crime Operations Stephan Obers said the public should be aware that selling or distributing counterfeit goods is a criminal offence.

“Police across Australia can and do charge persons with criminal offences related to counterfeiting,” Superintendent Obers said.

“This is a warning that if you are selling these goods you may be subject to a police investigation for committing intellectual property crimes.”

“Australian legislation provides for a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment for copyright offences and two years for trademark offences.”

“The AFP works with industry representatives, state and territory police and the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service to disrupt the criminal networks that bring counterfeit goods into Australia.”

Today’s warrants are a result of investigations, which stemmed from information provided by industry stakeholders.

Those stakeholders include the Trade Mark Investigations Service, Music Industry Piracy Investigations, Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft and the Union of European Football Associations.

AFP investigations are continuing. Police expect to lay a number of charges in the future.

Anyone with information on intellectual property crimes can report it to Crimestoppers or their local police.

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AFP National Media Team
Phone: (02) 6131 6333