Counterfeiting during the COVID-19 Crisis
On 17 April 2020, Europol published a report on the activities of counterfeiters during the COVID-19 crisis. The report provides an overview on counterfeits, substandard goods, and intellectual property crime during the crisis.
According to the report, Organised Crime Groups producing and distributing counterfeit goods have rapidly adapted their modi operandi to offering products such as counterfeit medical equipment and pharmaceutical/healthcare products that are sometimes even provided with CE markings and certifications. Other types of products include fake COVID-19 home-test kits. The production countries, modi operandi, routes, and nationalities of suspects seem to have remained the same. Profits from the trade of these goods are deemed substantial. Since these goods are primarily offered online on the web, the report strongly recommends investing in prevention and awareness campaigns to disrupt these business models.