Counterfeit trade in Colombia nets big bucks

Americas Now

Counterfeit trade in Colombia nets big bucks

In Colombia, buying and selling counterfeit goods has been big business. Everything from music and movies to clothing is copied and sold illegally. In the past, the pirating industry has been viewed as a victimless crime. But now the police are increasingly tackling this industry, which the government estimates costs the country $750 million annually.

Marketplaces in Colombia known as San Andresitos are notorious for the sale of illegally reproduced goods. These discount shopping centers are filled with hundreds of stalls selling just about everything you can buy in Colombia at the cheapest prices, including computers and other electronics.

Organized crime often benefits from the sale of pirated merchandise, which also plays a role in laundering money.

International Intellectual Property Alliance, a trade group representing international companies, said the “levels of piracy in Colombia continue to grow, both in the streets and online.”

And as Correspondent Toby Muse tells us in this report from Bogota, piracy in Colombia also includes distributing bootleg booze.

Follow Toby Muse on Twitter @tobymuse

Counterfeit trade in Colombia nets big bucks

Counterfeit trade in Colombia nets big bucks

In Colombia, buying and selling counterfeit goods has been big business. Everything from music and movies to clothing is copied and sold illegally. In the past, the pirating industry has been viewed as a victimless crime. But now the police are increasingly tackling this industry, which the government estimates costs the country $750 million annually.