York Regional Police have confirmed that a large amount of merchandise seized in late June raids at Pacific Mall were in fact counterfeit.
The Financial Crimes Unit made a trip to New York in late August where investigators met up with brand representatives from manufacturers like Adidas, Chanel, Dior and others. Company experts identified a large number of clothes, handbags, and mobile phone accessories as fake.
The verification paves the way for potential charges under the Copyright Act, which can be punishable by fines of up to $1 million or imprisonment of up to five years.
“This is a very important piece of our investigation and will provide some great evidence as we move forward here,” York Regional Police Const. Andy Pattenden told Global News Radio 640 Toronto, “It is an ongoing investigation and no charges yet, but stay tuned as there could be.”
The raids at the Markham-based mall on June 27 enlisted more than 30 officers executing seven search warrants which collected thousands of items suspected to be phoney.
“Counterfeit goods, whether smuggled into the country or produced in Canada, represent a financial loss to legitimate businesses, governments and taxpayers. As these goods are often cheaply made and not up to Canadian standards, they not only defraud consumers but may also pose risks to consumer safety.”
York Regional Police are asking anyone with information pertaining to the Pacific Mall investigation to contact the York Regional Police Financial Crimes Unit or reach out to Crime Stoppers anonymously.