NINE in ten Scots do not believe trade in counterfeit goods is linked to organised crime, a new study has revealed.
That is despite police and prosecutors believing it is often used to fund more harmful activities, such as drug smuggling.
The Scottish Government and law enforcement agencies have formed the Anti-Illicit Trade Hub, to try and crack down on this activity.
Justice secretary Kenny Mac-Askill said: “Buying fake designer handbags, watches and sunglasses might be seen as a victimless way to get something desirable on the cheap, but there is no doubt that many of these items have a long back story of criminality, often involving violence.”
David Harvie, of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, added: “The people of Scotland should be aware of the real effects of purchasing counterfeit goods – such behaviour only funds the groups that undermine our communities.”