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To date CIB has carried out over 600 investigations in more than 35 countries into a wide range of counterfeit products. Our experts gather intelligence, carry out covert investigations and provide expert advice and training.
The growth of the internet has opened up new marketing and distribution channels for counterfeit goods, primarily produced in developing countries. Responding to this threat, CIB set up an internet investigations team.
CIB has set up a specialist team of investigators to tackle the threat posed by the growth of the internet which has opened up new marketing and distribution channels for counterfeit goods.
Our experts collect a full intelligence picture of each suspicious website and are trained in covert internet intelligence techniques. This human-based approach gives a detailed understanding of the whole network operated by the counterfeiters, which computer algorithms and robots can miss. This method is crucial as it allows the counterfeiters to be traced if they go on to operate other websites.
What happens next?
After collecting the intelligence there are two ways in which an investigation progresses;
- Criminal proceedings are carried out when the administrator of a website selling counterfeit goods is identified and the CIB member wishes to pursue a criminal investigation. CIB will produce an intelligence package and present it to law enforcement in the jurisdiction of the website administrator. CIB then supports the law enforcement body in any way necessary including; further investigation on the ground, carrying out test purchases, or producing witness statements for court. Our investigators are also trained in high tech crime scene examination should law enforcement require technical support during a warrant and seizure of goods.
- Alternative to prosecution (ATP). Website administrators are often in jurisdictions where criminal proceedings would either be ineffective or costly, or the administrators cannot be identified at all. A website may also have limited impact on the CIB member though still infringing its intellectual property. Resorting to criminal proceedings may therefore not be in the member’s interest. ATP’s are an effective way to quickly shut down these websites and stop counterfeiters accessing a member’s customers. More details about ATP's can be obtained on request.
Notable CIB successes:
- Closed down a large number of websites in China selling counterfeit luxury jewellery.
- Worked on behalf of a leading sunglass maker to investigate the production and distribution of fake products and arranged for their seizure.
- Investigated the illegal sale of French electrical components by unauthorised distributors in Hong Kong.
- Monitored the sale of counterfeit sportswear in markets for a leading international sportswear manufacturer and worked closely with local law enforcement to seize the goods.
- Investigated the sale of infringing wall covering designs in China and carried out raids and seizures on the offenders.
- Investigated the illegal sale of counterfeit printed circuit boards containing well-known amusement games and coordinated raids on illicit manufacturers and distributors globally.
Such successes have earned us recognition and cooperation from governments and international organisations. Our investigators have close professional links with senior officials in government and law enforcement agencies worldwide.
For more information about CIB investigation services please contact us.