Consumers warned not to "buy into organised crime"

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Counterfeit drugs at a market in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Photo: IRIN/Brahima Ouedraogo

Consumers around the world are being warned that buying counterfeit goods could be funding organized crime as well as putting people's health and safety at risk.

A new global campaign launched by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) called "Counterfeit: Don't buy into organised crime" is seeking to raise awareness about the US$ 250-billion-a-year illicit trafficking of counterfeit goods.

UNODC says that the sale of counterfeit products provides criminal networks with a significant source of income and facilitates the laundering of other illicit proceeds.

It adds that with no legal regulation, consumers are exposed to risk from unsafe and ineffective products.

The campaign is being launched with a Public Service Announcement on the NASDAQ screen in New York's Times Square and will be aired on several international television stations in January.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations.

Duration: 58″

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