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Customs officials catch more contraband

Officials in Switzerland seized SFr14 million ($12 million) in counterfeit goods in 2008, the Federal Customs Office said on Wednesday.

Two-thirds of the knock-off goods came from China, although all fake medicines originated in India. In total, border guards made 1,176 seizures.

Accessories like bags and sunglasses made up close to 50 per cent of contraband. Watches and jewellery made up 6.1 per cent. Fake perfumes accounted for only 0.2 per cent.

Close to 80 per cent of goods taken from tourists from July 1 to the end of 2008 were nabbed at Zurich airport. Geneva airport accounted for 13 per cent.

Some 60 per cent of items had passed through Turkey and Thailand, the two most common transit points.

Switzerland introduced stricter legislation to deal with pirated goods on July 1, 2008. It expanded the power of customs officers to search for and destroy private shipments.

The Federal Customs Office also credited rules allowing them to search packages containing items purchased on the Internet.

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