Current Affairs
UPDATED: Customs with biggest ever haul of counterfeit products

Customs have confiscated 36 containers at the Freeport, which had been found to be packed with thousands of counterfeit items. Customs stated that this is the biggest ever consignment of its kind in its history, being two and a half times bigger than the previous largest consignment.

Customers officers are working to empty the 36 containers identified at the Freeport and packed with thousands of counterfeit products. The work is being carried out by Customs officers from different sections, among which the Container Monitoring Section, the Scanning Section and the Intellectual Property Section. Customs explained in a statement that this work is expected to continue for a number of days, and Freeport Terminals workers and Freeport Corporation security staff are also assisting.

Customs further stated the 36 containers were part of a consignment of 44 containers, of which only eight were legal. It was added that with the aim of deceiving Customs officers, the counterfeit products were concealed behind the first 20 feet from the container doors, with the first part carrying legal merchandise. This move, however, was not successful, as what Customs officers did not manage to see with their naked eyes were identified through the sophisticated scanner in use by Customs at the Freeport.

The containers, which originated from Asian countries, were bound for an African country. The first eight containers carried products from well-known firms, among which 91,750 mobile accessories, nearly 47,000 items of clothing, 44,000 pairs of sports shoes, over 14,000 tracksuits, 7,770 pairs of shoes and 750 game controllers.

This is the biggest ever consignment of containers confiscated by the Malta Customs in one go, and it is expected that when all the containers are emptied, a record amount of counterfeit products will have been confiscated. Locally, the biggest consignment of counterfeit products confiscated so far in the past had amounted to fifteen containers.