Minister of Justice Anna Richardson (right) and Anguillian attorney Keesha Fleming Lake.
PHILIPSBURG--Minister of Justice Anna Richardson recently welcomed Keesha Fleming Lake, attorney at law from the Fleming Lake Group Inc. firm based in Anguilla, who paid the minister a courtesy visit. Anti-counterfeiting efforts were discussed during the meeting.
Fleming Lake has taken note that Minister Richardson has placed high priority on enforcing counterfeit laws. The discussion delved into what St. Maarten imports, directly catering to Anguilla, as St. Maarten is one of the main shopping stops for many Anguillians.
The concern for Fleming Lake and Minister Richardson is not just about apparel, but what is consumed by residents.
“The work of Minister Richardson in bringing awareness to the importation, use and consumption of counterfeit goods deserves commendation,” said Fleming Lake. “The negative effects of the use of counterfeit products, including food, medicine and cosmetics, are not isolated to St. Maarten and can have an impact on our Anguillian community due to the ease of transporting goods between the islands.”
The health and safety risks should be of concern to Anguillians, said Fleming Lake. “These should be addressed by awareness efforts throughout our community. It is my hope that by engaging in discussions with persons in our region like Minister Richardson, Anguilla will likewise ensure that our community is protected through anti-counterfeit efforts.”
Richardson is gearing up to host the second annual Anti-Counterfeiting and Intellectual Property conference at the end of September of this year. “The concerns regarding the production and sale of counterfeit products is gaining traction in our region,” Richardson said. “I'm truly elated that our initiative to finally tackle this subversive crime has captured such a great reaction from neighbouring islands.”
The health risks associated with this form of crime are far-reaching. Richardson said. “As a Kingdom, we are investing significant resources to combat human-smuggling and -trafficking, as many lives are lost in these dangerous journeys. It is known that trafficking, in particular, is often financed by subversive crimes such as the sale of counterfeit products. It is in our best interest if we combine our efforts to protect those among us who may not be fully aware of the dangers at hand.”
Several territories in the region, including Anguilla, are anticipating the upcoming conference to engage in this very important and serious discussion.
Besides her concerns about how counterfeit products are hazardous to people’s health, Fleming Lake, being an international attorney, is also focused on protecting the intellectual property rights of brand owners under her affiliate law practice, Complete Intellectual Property Services.