Boots made from dog skin and perfume containing urine among fake goods seized in Scotland

Make-up laced with paint stripper, boots made from dog skin and perfume containing urine are among the fake goods seized by police in Scotland.

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Experts are urging people to be aware of the dangers of fake products and refuse to buy illicit foods, alcohol, fashion, medicines and beauty goods.

Counterfeit goods and the criminal gangs that trade in them are the focus of a major conference bringing together police, trading standards and industry.

Former Taggart star Blythe Duff and representatives of US Homeland Security, Interpol and Europol are among the speakers at the Scottish Anti-Illicit Trade Summit in Edinburgh today.

Addressing delegates at Murrayfield Stadium, Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said: "Buying counterfeit goods might be seen as a victimless way to get presents for family and friends on the cheap, but many of these items will have a long back story of criminality often involving violence.

"However, the problem doesn't just lie with fake bags, perfume or alcohol. There is a serious global problem in counterfeit medicines, machinery and engine parts which can be seriously damaging to people's health and potentially deadly.

"The work that the Anti-Illicit Trade Group is doing to tackle the influx of fake goods is a fantastic example of authorities cutting off the cash that funds these gangs and hitting them where it hurts - their pockets."

Mandy Haeburn-Little, director of summit organiser the Scottish Business Resilience Centre, said: "Everyone loves a bargain. But people need to stop to think about the true cost of fake goods. Can you be confident that those cheap cigarettes, perfumes and alcohol are actually safe?

"However, it goes much deeper as those products are likely to have supported child labour or human trafficking or used to fund serious organised crime.

"Illicit trade also hurts businesses in Scotland very hard. People choosing bargains at markets, car boot sales or on the internet impacts hugely on retailers and manufacturers - less genuine goods being sold closes businesses and puts people out of work.

"But by us all working together we can make a change to ensure Scotland becomes a hostile environment for serious organised criminals."

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