There is an enormous cost worldwide in lost revenues, damage to legitimate businesses and effect on employment. In the UK alone, the estimated loss to the economy has doubled over the last five years. In 2003, it cost us over 4000 jobs and nearly 10 billion, on which the VAT alone would fund several new schools and hospitals. Counterfeiting is a very real threat to the future of the many livelihoods that depend on the businesses of trademark owners including production workers and delivery drivers.
Links have been proven to other serious organised crime and has been known to finance drug trafficking. Many counterfeiters hail from foreign countries, such as South Korea, Vietnam, or Russia. They are frequently organized in a network of importers and distributors who use connections in China, South East Asia, or Latin America to have their counterfeit and imitation products made inexpensively by grossly underpaid labourers. Major criminals control much of the trade in fakes, using their existing smuggling and money-laundering networks to swamp the markets. In turn, global intelligence has connected these vast illegal profits to other serious organised crime, including terrorism.