Fight against counterfeits and illicit trade must be sustained
To state simply that illicit trade affects mainly businesses and government revenue, is to understate the extent to which the vice permeates and degrades all levels of our society and threatens the future of this country.
The nature of counterfeiting and illicit trade is such that it tends to thrive where graft and corruption is entrenched. Not only does it take away the citizen’s right to quality and genuine products, it also puts their lives at great risk by infiltrating their markets with substandard and, in many cases, highly dangerous goods.
Additionally, many counterfeit products evade taxation, and in doing so they appropriate huge portions of our national revenues.
It is time to criminalize this vice and impose heavy penalties on anyone found to be dealing with counterfeits. Currently, there exists a disconnect between the seriousness with which enforcement agencies have taken up this initiative, and the ruling and sentencing of culprits found guilty of these offences. The laws, presently do not sufficiently take into account the severe effects that supply of counterfeit goods does to our population’s health, quality of lives and the economy.