Editor’s Note: For more information on the dangers of counterfeit products, see CRE’s paper Counterfeit Products, Genuine Harm: How Intellectual Property Theft Fuels Organized Crime While Undermining American Communities.
SHANGHAI — Kim Sbarcea knew exactly what she wanted. She typed “Tiffany Elsa Peretti mesh earrings” into Google and chanced upon a pair of the $450 earrings for — deal of deals! — $32.
In that instant, Sbarcea’s money was sucked from her house in Christchurch, New Zealand, into the global counterfeiting market, where Chinese banks have emerged as key conduits in an illegal industry estimated to be worth $1.8 trillion this year.
At least three prominent Chinese banks serve as safe havens for counterfeiters, who use them to process credit card payments or move their money around the globe, The Associated Press has found.