ICE HSI teams with London police to fight counterfeiting
WASHINGTON – The City of London Police (CoLP) became the fifth international law-enforcement agency to join the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center) after leadership from the organization signed an agreement today with U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) to enhance collaboration in the fight against intellectual property theft.
IPR Center Director Alex Khu and CoLP Commissioner Ian Dyson pledged to combine resources to tackle the illegal importation and distribution of counterfeit goods that threaten the health and safety of consumers, wreak havoc on local and national economies, and fund criminal organizations involved in various illicit activities.
A signing ceremony codifying the agreement was hosted by the ICE Homeland Security Investigations-led IPR Center, which also counts the Mexican Revenue Service, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Interpol and Europol as international members. The total number of agencies aligned with the joint IP enforcement agency now stands at twenty-four.
The addendum signed today builds on a memorandum of understanding signed by HSI and CoLP in 2015, which established a commitment to share intelligence and effective training practices and raise public awareness of counterfeiting and emerging IP crime trends. HSI offices in London, part of the customs agency’s international operations division, has worked closely with CoLP on several investigations and was a major facilitator in the agreement signed today.
This new partner greatly strengthens the IPR Center, which recently celebrated its tenth anniversary and serves as one of the U.S. government's key weapons in the fight against criminal counterfeiting and piracy. The center uses the expertise of its member agencies to share information, develop initiatives, coordinate enforcement actions, and conduct investigations related to IP theft. Through this strategic interagency partnership, the IPR Center protects the public's health and safety, the U.S. economy and the war fighters.
Intellectual property enforcement initiatives developed by the IPR Center include major participation from HSI, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, FBI, military law-enforcement agencies and international authorities. In fiscal year 2017, HSI arrested 457 individuals, obtained 288 indictments and received 242 convictions related to support of IP enforcement operations. Additionally, combined efforts between ICE and CBP led to 34,143 IPR seizures with a value of $1.38 billion.