York Regional Police have seized thousands of suspected counterfeit items after executing seven search warrants at Pacific Mall, and one residence in Markham on Wednesday.
According to police, complaints from citizens regarding fake goods being sold at the Kennedy Road/Steeles Avenue mall prompted this investigation, which began in April 2018.
More than 30 officers executed warrants and seized items that will now be examined by various manufacturers to ascertain if they are genuine or counterfeit.
Items seized included clothes, handbags, and cell phone accessories.
Police say they also executed a search warrant at the residence of an owner of one of the kiosks, where merchandise believed to be counterfeit was seized, along with cash.
While police laid no charges on Wednesday, they say that the investigation continues and more search warrants will be executed in storage facilities relating to the identified kiosks.
Investigators are currently executing search warrants at various retailers located in Pacific Mall in Markham as part of an investigation into counterfeit goods. pic.twitter.com/DC1bnwsykU
— York Regional Police (@YRP) June 27, 2018
“Counterfeit goods, whether smuggled into the country or produced in Canada, represent a financial loss to legitimate businesses, governments and taxpayers,” states a release by York Regional Police. “As these goods are often cheaply made and not up to Canadian standards, they not only defraud consumers but may also pose risks to consumer safety.”
Police say those retailers are subject to criminal charges under the Copyright Act, which can be punishable by fines of up to $1 million or imprisonment of up to five years.
In January, the Markham shopping centre was listed by the Office of the US Trade Representative as one of 18 brick-and-mortar locations and 25 online retailers that qualify as one of the world’s so-called “notorious markets” for counterfeit goods.
Pacific Mall was the only Canadian market to make it onto the list this year.