Counterfeit goods fraud is stated to be one of the fastest growing businesses in the world. Academic work examining the flows of counterfeit goods is beginning to build momentum. However, work analysing the financial mechanisms that enable the trade has been less forthcoming. This is despite the fact that over the last two decades official and media discourses have paid increasing attention to ‘organised crime’ finances in general. Based on an exploratory study that brought together academic researchers and law enforcement practitioners from the UK ’s National Trading Standards, the aim of the current article is to offer an account of the financial management in the counterfeit goods trade. Focusing on tangible goods, the article addresses the ways in which capital is secured to allow counterfeiting businesses to be initiated and sustained, how entrepreneurs and customers settle payments, and how profits from the business are spent and invested. The study covers the UK in the broader context of what is a distinctly transnational trade.
- SPS Centre for the Study of Poverty and Social Justice
- Organised crime
- Illegal markets