Fake fashion fuels vast illicit profits, sea of human misery

From: CTV News

In this Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017 photo, Matthew Cridland, the Trading Standards manager at Newport City Council, poses for photographs with a bag of illegal cigarettes at the Newport Civic Centre in Newport, south Wales. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

Lynne O’Donnell, The Associated Press


Annual trade in fake products was worth $461 billion in 2013, around 2.5 per cent of total global trade, according to Piotr Stryszowski, an economist with the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The money goes to organized crime, and helps fund terrorism and the trafficking of drugs, people, sex and wildlife, as well as the lavish lifestyles of its kingpins.


The reality, however, is anything but fun for the workers, many of them children, who toil in appalling, often slave-like conditions in secret factories making fake products for gang bosses who, Stryszowski says, “have no ethics and no respect for the law.”

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