UNICRI’s programme on Counterfeiting is based on a long tradition of research in matters of organized crime. Counterfeiting is an important part of the work of the Institute due to the growing interest of criminal organizations in this area.
Counterfeiting presents a very favorable ratio between potential profits and assumed risks compared to other criminal activities such as drug trafficking. It also facilitates money laundering by providing a front into which the criminal organizations can invest the proceeds of their other illicit activities. For these reasons interest in it has grown exponentially amongst organized criminal groups.
Counterfeiting is a complex criminal activity involving economic, social and legal elements. Aware of this complexity and of the urgent need of an adequate response, UNICRI developed a specific program based on a multidisciplinary approach which follows two main pillars of analysis:
- The fight against counterfeiting as a response to organized crime;
- the danger posed by some specific products to consumers’ health and safety.