|Street sellers of fake items (Photo credit: Michal Osmenda)|
Consumers of counterfeit goods could be fined in New York
In New York, it's currently illegal for people to sell counterfeit goods, but it could soon be a crime to buy them, too.
Councilwoman Margaret Chin is pushing to get a bill passed that would see fines of $1,000 (approx £650) and up to a year in prison for those purchasing illegal merchandise.
"Hopefully, this law will cut down on the demand," Chin told the New York Post.
She first proposed the bill in 2011 and is making a renewed push to get it passed.
Manhattan's Chinatown area, in particular Canal Street, is synonymous with knock-offs of luxury labelled bags and watches."People think it's an adventure," Chin said. "If you want to get these name-brand knock-offs at a cheap price, you go to Chinatown." She added: "If you go into a back room, basement or van, you probably know what you're doing is not legal."
Counterfeiters have become more discreet with their selling tactics of late, with scouts looking for bargain-hungry tourists at street level before leading them on to 'colleagues' on back streets who are in possession of pamphlets displaying the full selection of their fake ranges.
Last month, New York police seized more than 1,000 fake bags from an underground shop.
Source: The Telegraph
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