Faking it: the rise of the counterfeit goods trade

It’s said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. But not in the case of the counterfeit goods market, which has moved far beyond merely copying designer bags and clothing. No longer content to be just an economic menace, the counterfeiters are putting our health and safety at risk.

They have taken on the leading mobile phone brands, churning out copies containing batteries which explode in the face of the user. They have infected the pharmaceutical sector, peddling dangerous fakes of well known brands, like viagra, to unsuspecting consumers via the internet. They have attacked the automobile industry, producing poor quality imitation spare parts, from windscreens to brake pads. They have infiltrated the food market with mayonnaises, sodas and ready meals of dubious origin.

Who makes these fake products? How do they get into Europe? This enquiry takes us to China, Hong Kong, and Cambodia as we meet the counterfeiters and their opponents; crack teams of customs specialists who employ radical methods to stop this illegal practice which puts lives at risk.


  • Year: 2009
  • Duration: 55 MINS
  • Production: Tony Comiti
  • Director: Stéphane Haussey
  • Available Versions: ENG, FRA, ESP
  • Country of production: France

Related Programs

Restaurant Reviews: Trust the Guide?

Every month, 150M people around the world consult sites like TripAdvisor. But when 10% of reviews are estimated to be fake, can you trust the guide?

More info

How to Manipulate Social Media

Social media is the most powerful platform for advertising and promotion. From politicians to pop stars, everyone wants to see their likes, views and followers soar.

More info

The Mystery of Nefertiti

The bust of Queen Nefertiti is one of the most iconic images in the world — a crowd puller, attracting 500,000 visitors every year to the Altes Museum in Berlin. But is it a fake?

More info