SAN FRANCISCO ― Last week, Homeland Security Investigations agents from the San Francisco Field Office conducted a three-day operation to intercept counterfeit pharmaceuticals, auto parts, and electronics in bound to the Bay Area. HSI San Francisco conducted this investigative effort at a Bay Area mail facility in concert with Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers located at the San Francisco International Airport.
This surge initiative in the Bay Area is in furtherance of an HSI-led National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center) strategy for targeting the importation, smuggling, and trafficking of counterfeit goods. The goal of this operation is to identify and interdict counterfeit products entering the US at International Mail Facilities and Express Consignment Hubs, and then for HSI field offices to initiate investigations to disrupt and dismantle those organizations involved in these criminal acts.
“Consumers should also know, this isn’t a victimless crime. There is a variety of criminal activity funded by these illicit monetary gains,” Templet said.
The HSI-led IPR Center is one of the U.S. government's key weapons in the fight against criminal counterfeiting and piracy. Working in close coordination with the Department of Justice Task Force on Intellectual Property, the IPR Center uses the expertise of its 25 member agencies to share information, develop initiatives, coordinate enforcement actions and conduct investigations related to intellectual property theft. Through this strategic interagency partnership, the IPR Center protects the public's health and safety and the U.S. economy.
“HSI San Francisco is committed to conducting intellectual property theft investigations that not only protect the companies who have trademarked licensed products, but also the consumers who believe they are buying authentic and/or safe products,” stated Templet.
DSAC Templet encourages consumers to purchase merchandise from authorized dealers and reputable businesses to guarantee the quality and life of the products and to ensure access to a reputable source for concerns, returns, and exchanges.
To report IP theft or to learn more about the IPR Center, visit the https://www.iprcenter.gov/.