Police seize more than $3M in counterfeit goods
Published Monday, December 3, 2012 11:05AM EST
Last Updated Monday, December 3, 2012 12:05PM EST
A sweeping investigation led by Toronto police has turned up more than $3 million in counterfeit goods, one of the largest phony product busts in the city’s history.
Investigators went public with their findings at a Monday news conference, showing off tables among tables of knock-off items, ranging from fake IDs to bogus children’s toys.
The items were retrieved from businesses in Toronto, Peel Region and York Region.
“The fact is counterfeit products available today are much more diverse,” Staff Inspector Bryce Evans, of Toronto police’s Financial Crimes Unit, told reporters on Monday.
Citing police intelligence, Evans added that counterfeit trade in Toronto “is pervasive and lucrative.”
He made note of a June 2012 reported released by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce indicating that last year the RCMP and Canadian Border Services Agency seized an estimated $25 million in counterfeit goods intended for markets in the Greater Toronto Area.
Ten people have been arrested in the investigation known as “Project Consumer Safety.” Several fraud-related charges have been laid, including possession of property obtained by crime.
Police say the 10 individuals arrested have been released under certain conditions. The suspects are scheduled to next appear in court on Jan. 17, 2013.