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article imageToronto police seize over $6.5 million worth of knock-off goods

By Arthur Weinreb     Nov 30, 2013 in Crime
Toronto - Police conducted several raids, arrested 21 people, and seized more than $6.5 million worth of counterfeit goods including drugs, cosmetics, electronics, and transit tokens.
At a press conference yesterday, Toronto police announced 13 search warrants had been executed in Toronto, Windsor, and various other locations in southern Ontario. The goods seized include counterfeit Viagra and other prescription drugs, luxury goods, electronics, cosmetics and TTC tokens.
The seizures and arrests were the culmination of Project PACE (Partners Against Counterfeiting Everywhere). Project Pace was begun in August 2013 by the Financial Crimes Unit of the Toronto Police Service.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the RCMP, the Canada Border Services Agency and several Ontario police forces assisted Toronto police in the crackdown on knock-off goods.
Project PACE led to the arrests of 21 people who face a total of 115 charges. The charges include fraud, counterfeiting, and possession and trafficking in property obtained by crime.
Police were especially concerned about some of the products, such as fake Viagra, Cialis, ice wine and contact lenses, that could potentially cause serious health problems. Det.-Const. Andrea Chedas said, "These goods don't meet safety standards, and they introduce significant health and safety risk. The majority of customers are unaware they are purchasing low-cost, unreliable, fake goods that could pose serious health and safety risks to the public."
Some of the items, such as the false Toronto Transit Commission tokens were smuggled into Canada from China. According to Staff-Insp. Bryce Evans, head of the Financial Crimes Unit, agents with the Canada Border Services were examining curtain rods that appeared to be too heavy and discovered the tokens in the rods.
Toronto police are warning the public to be careful when shopping. Counterfeit goods do not meet government safety standards and can be harmful. Shoppers are encouraged to deal only with reputable retailers.
Police also say it is no coincidence they held the press conference on Black Friday, a day when people would not find deeply discounted prices to be unusual.
The investigation is continuing and more arrests are expected.
More about project pace, knockoff goods, Counterfeiting, Black friday
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