Experts in the industry and international law enforcement have found a strong correlation between counterfeiting and other illegal activity. It has been discovered that criminals use the counterfeiting industry to finance other illegal operations, and vice versa. Even the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation, EUROPOL, has issued a warning that counterfeiting is becoming a more alluring way for organized criminal syndicates to expand and diversify their illegal enterprises.
Additionally, it has been discovered that counterfeiters distribute counterfeit items using the same channels and methods as those used to smuggle illegal substances, weapons, and people. Production and distribution of fake goods are also aided by proceeds from other crimes and illegal endeavours. The use of proceeds from crimes like drug trafficking and other crimes to support the business of counterfeiting, as well as the use of proceeds from the selling of counterfeit items to support the criminal’s other illegal activities, has been documented in several reports from various nations.
The attractive ratio of potential rewards to potential hazards makes counterfeiting one of the key reasons why criminals prefer it to other illegal operations. A low-risk/high-profit opportunity exists for criminals in the creation and marketing of counterfeit goods, as stated by Yuri Fedotov, Executive Director of the UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime). Corruption and money laundering are fueled by counterfeiting. Involvement or crossover with drug trafficking and other major crimes has also been shown to exist.
Trade data indicate that one of the top revenue sources for organized crime is counterfeiting. By giving criminal organizations a place to invest the money made from their illegal activities, counterfeiting or duplication also aids in money laundering. To put it briefly, organized crime syndicates employ counterfeiting as a tool to further their other illegal pursuits.