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Toronto Toronto-area mall labelled among world’s most 'notorious' sources of counterfeit goods

Shoppers walk through Pacific Mall in Markham, Ont., in 2007.

Tibor Kolley/The Globe and Mail

A U.S. government report says a Toronto-area mall is among the most notorious sources of pirated and counterfeit goods in the world.

Pacific Mall, a predominantly Chinese-Canadian shopping centre in Markham, Ont., is one of 18 brick-and-mortar locations and 25 online retailers named by the U.S. Office of the Trade Representative in its annual review of so-called "notorious markets."

How Canada is failing to keep dangerous counterfeit products off store shelves

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The U.S. government says sales of counterfeit goods at Pacific Mall are "sprawling and pervasive" and that vendors "operate largely with impunity (as) requests for assistance from local law enforcement have reportedly gone unanswered."

The new report says some of the counterfeit items available at the mall, including cosmetics, sunglasses and perfumes, can pose a risk to public health and safety.

Pacific Mall is the only Canadian market included on the list, though the report notes that one of the fastest-growing advertising networks that cater to online sellers of counterfeit goods is based in Canada.

The RCMP and York regional police have, over the past two decades, seized counterfeit electronics, DVDs, video games and other goods, said to be worth millions of dollars, from Pacific Mall vendors.

Representatives of Pacific Mall were not immediately available for comment.

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