The Financial Aspects of the Trade in Counterfeit Products: An Exploratory Study

Principal Investigator

Prof Georgios A. Antonopoulos

Research Institution

Teesside University

Project Summary

Drawing upon cross-disciplinary research expertise in social sciences (criminology and sociology), humanities (geography) and law, and working in collaboration with practitioners from the National Trading Standards e-Crime Team (NSeCT), the research seeks to investigate the financing of the trade in counterfeit goods. The study focuses specifically on financing and financing-related aspects of illicit markets in material counterfeit goods. Furthermore, while focusing on the UK context, it will contribute to our understanding of Transnational Organised Crime (TOC) by examining financial and physical flows in the counterfeit trade over borders. In this context, China, the dominant manufacturing force in the global economy with an advanced export infrastructure, is part of the focus of this project.


The research will make contributions to practice and policy that will be of interest to a range of groups outside the academic community. First, it will be of considerable value to law enforcement agencies, regulatory agencies, criminal investigators and other officials working to combat transnational organised crime at local, national and international levels. Second, the project will also indirectly benefit non-governmental agencies who work in collaboration, or are supportive of, anti-counterfeiting objective. Third, the project will benefit policy makers at national and international levels. They will profit from the broader and deeper understanding of criminal financing and counterfeiting that the research will provide, which will help in the development of future measures and policies to raise awareness and tackle it. Fourth, knowledge of counterfeiting and criminal financing can generate financial and non-financial returns and benefits to the UK economy and society.

The counterfeit trade poses a range of economic, physical and social costs to citizens, businesses and creative industries. Better knowledge and awareness leading to the development of more effective enforcement can protect consumers, and businesses in terms of intellectual property rights, trademarks and profits in the UK.

Contact Information

For further information, please email Georgios at