Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Drug dealers entering the knock-off business?

From an article in the New York Times titled Inside the Knockoff-Tennis-Shoe Factory :

Dean Phillips, the chief of the F.B.I.’s Asian/African Criminal Enterprise Unit, describes counterfeiting as a “smart play” for criminals. The profits are high while the penalties are low. An Interpol analyst added: “If they get caught with a container of counterfeit sneakers, they lose their goods and get a mark on their customs records. But if they get caught with three kilos of coke, they’re going down for four to six years. That’s why you diversify.”

Of sports shoes, the article notes that a center for manufacturing knock off shoes is in Putian, Fujian, near Taiwan:Counterfeiters played a low-budget game of industrial espionage, bribing employees at the licensed factories to lift samples or copy blueprints. Shoes were even chucked over a factory wall, according to a worker at one of Nike’s Putian factories. It wasn’t unusual for counterfeit models to show up in stores before the real ones did.

Of course, in the United States, we have the Bimbo Bakeries/Hostess thing over the secrets to the nooks and crannies of Thomas' English Muffins.


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