Interpol Global Register, enabling checking for fakes, unveiled at Google Ideas INFO summit

People will able to use mobile phones or other devices with internet connections to check whether goods are fake or being illicitly traded by using the Interpol Global Register, unveiled at the Google Ideas Illicit Networks Forces in Opposition (INFO) summit, Interpol said on July 17 2012.

The product identifies goods through their unique security features, Interpol said.
Unique security features can be placed on any type of consumer goods – such as pharmaceuticals, cigarettes, luxury items, household goods and toys – “and in an unprecedented move, the Interpol Global Register will actively engage and empower the public, rights holders and law enforcement officials by enabling anyone with a mobile phone or Internet-connected device to verify a product’s legitimacy by screening these features to help determine whether the product is fake or being illicitly traded”, the organisation said in a statement.

Clear links have been established between transnational organized crime, terrorism and the trafficking of illicit goods which generate huge profits globally at little risk to the traffickers. According to estimates more than $2 trillion are generated annually through illicit trade.

“Interpol’’s core mandate has always been to make sure that law enforcement anywhere in the world will have access to the right information at the right time to fight crime. We are now taking this a step further by giving the public the ability to protect themselves by using the Interpol Global Register to check unique security features used to verify the authenticity of products,” Interpol Secretary General Ronald Noble said.

He thanked Google Ideas for developing a “proof of concept” model for the IGR which was unveiled at the Google INFO summit in Los Angeles where its functionality was demonstrated for the first time.

“The IGR will act as a ‘gateway’, providing a flexible and secure method to integrate existing solutions across private/public sectors. It will be adaptable to virtually any product verification system put in place by manufacturers to uniquely identify their goods,” the Interpol statement said.

Searches can be conducted by entering details manually or scanning a code via mobile applications available on the Android, Apple, Microsoft and BlackBerry platforms which will then deliver fact, accurate and location-based information, making it a global resource for law enforcement and equally as important, protecting the public from potentially life-threatening fake products such as counterfeit medicines.

PharmaSecure, a leader in drug authentification technologies and software verification systems, currently used to security code more than one million packets of pharmaceuticals produced every day in India alone, has become one of the first companies to pursue this Interpol initiative.

“As an innovative pharmaceutical verification provider, Pharmasecure is proud to be the first to team up with Interpol to help consumers globally to verify their medicines through the Interpol Global Register initiative,” Nathan Sigworth, PharmaSecure’s Co-founder and Chief Executive was quoted in the Interpol statement as saying.

Interpol said that it wouldl also be working with the Digital Coding & Tracking Association – founded by British American Tobacco, Imperial Tobacco Group, Japan Tobacco International and Philip Morris International to develop and promote tracking and tracing standards – in identifying ways to make their supply chain control system, known as Codentify, accessible via the IGR. Through the Codentify system and utilizing internationally agreed standards, it is possible to track and trace the movement of products through the supply chain, and identify whether products are genuine or counterfeit.

“Companies linking to the IGR will instantly become world leaders in securing their products and protecting consumers from fake and illicit goods, making the register an increasingly powerful tool for the consumer in giving them choice, for the companies in protecting their goods, whether branded or generic, and for law enforcement in dismantling transnational organised crime groups,” Noble said.

(Photo: Lionel Titu/



The Sofia Globe staff

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