Partnership launched to fight counterfeiters ‘through wallets and websites’

An anti-counterfeiting programme will target thousands more offenders in a new collaboration with the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU).

Apr 3, 2017
Martin Hewitt

The ‘RogueBlock’ partnership that takes down criminal bank accounts will now also tackle websites selling fake goods through a joint initiative with PIPCU’s Operation Ashiko.

The programme, overseen by the International Anti Counterfeiting Coalition (IACC), has already terminated more than 5,300 merchant accounts that have profited from an estimated 200,000 websites.

PIPCU has agreed to consider each website submission from RogueBlock that features ‘.uk’ domain names.

With the help of PIPCU, we can fight counterfeiters through their wallets and their websites.

Bob Barchiesi, president of the IACC, said: “This agreement sends a clear message to counterfeiters that their illegal and deceitful actions will not be tolerated in London and beyond.

“It represents exactly the kind of multifaceted approach that the modern battlefield of counterfeiting requires.

“With the help of PIPCU, we can fight counterfeiters through their wallets and their websites.”

Operation Ashiko was launched in 2013 to tackle online trade in counterfeit goods by suspending websites committing intellectual property crime.

Since then, it has taken down more than 20,000 criminal domain names.

RogueBlock is a partnership between the IACC and the payment industry that helps members report online sales of pirated products directly to credit card and financial services companies.

Current members include MasterCard, Visa International, Paypal and American Express.

City of London Police says the collaboration with the IACC advances its objectives by providing a streamlined source of counterfeit sites.

PIPCU head Detective Superintendent Peter Ratcliffe said: “International partnerships are the key to tackling the sale and distribution of counterfeit goods and by working with the International Anti Counterfeiting Coalition we aim to make the internet a hostile place for criminals to sell and distribute fake goods.”

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