Mexico City. Mexico - Law enforcement officials from the United States and Mexico began a three-day training exercise July 20 focused on the global threat of intellectual property rights violations.
U.S. Ambassador to Mexico E. Anthony Wayne kicked off the training Monday by welcoming more than 100 law enforcement officials from Mexico’s federal, state and military offices.
The conference was hosted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Attaché Office in Mexico City, the HSI-led National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center) and Mexico’s Tax Administration Service (SAT).
The training included law enforcement discussions on the identification, interdiction, investigation and prosecution of IPR violations. Other topics discussed were legal and law enforcement aspects of IPR enforcement, commercial fraud, IPR-related cyber investigations and trade-based money laundering.
“Collaborative training is critical to our binational fight against those behind intellectual property rights violations,” said Ambassador Wayne. “This is not a victimless crime. Every day there are unsuspecting customers buying fake medicine, car parts, circuit breakers, and many other types of substandard material. We must continue our efforts to eradicate this global problem.”
“Our investigations have revealed that counterfeiting has tragically made its way into virtually every industry and poses a real threat to citizens in the United States, Mexico and around the world,” said IPR Center Director Bruce Foucart. “I commend the men and women of SAT for their continued bilateral commitment to working with HSI and the IPR Center to identify and dismantle the transnational criminal organizations linked to this illicit industry.”
SAT Director Aristoteles Nuñez said, “In Mexico we are focused and busy to make law and order prevail. We are engaged in the creation of jobs. We are also working with Mexico’s institutions to join efforts in order to combat illegal trade practices and also combat the violation of intellectual property rights of other foreign companies that invest and believe in Mexico.”
Founded in 2000, the IPR Center is one of the U.S. government's key weapons in the fight against criminal counterfeiting and piracy. The center uses the expertise of its 23 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.
In Fiscal Year 2014, the U.S. had an estimated 23,140 seizures linked to intellectual property rights violations with a MSRP of $1,226,347,540 had the items been genuine. There were also 683 arrests, 454 indictments and 461 convictions as a result of interagency collaboration.
Through its International Operations, ICE has 63 operational attaché offices in 46 countries around the world. HSI special agents work closely with foreign law enforcement agencies. Additionally, ICE brings personnel from host countries to the United States to train at the Department of Homeland Security Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Georgia.