Philippines slashes, smushes haul of pirated goods

Associated Press
A Government worker uses a cutter to slash a counterfeit Louis Vuitton handbag during a ceremonial destruction of counterfeit goods seized in raids recently at parade grounds of the Philippine National Police at suburban Quezon city, northeast of Manila, Thursday June 30, 2011. The ceremonial destruction of pirated DVDs and other counterfeit goods was done to coincide with the global celebration and awareness campaign known as World Anti-Counterfeiting Day. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)
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MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Police slashed fake Louis Vuitton bags and drove armored vehicles over Oakley sunglasses and pirated DVDs Thursday to mark World Anti-Counterfeit Day — a first step in destroying a five-month haul of counterfeit goods.

The symbolic destruction at police headquarters in Manila involved a portion of the items seized from January through May and the rest will be destroyed later, Intellectual Property Office Philippines head Ricardo Blancaflor said.

The entire haul would be worth $39.4 million if the items were authentic, he said. The street value of such fakes is far less.

"This is only the tip of the iceberg and we intend to do this regularly," Blancaflor said.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development estimated that international trade in counterfeit and pirated goods in 2007 may have amounted to as much as $250 billion, or around 2 percent of global merchandise trade.

The Philippines is on a U.S. list of intellectual property rights violators.

A similar amount of faked goods were destroyed in the Philippines in February.

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