Jeffrey Sheban wrote a good article entitled 'In the land of counterfeit' for The Columbus Dispatch in which the link between counterfeiting and organised crime is suggested. He quotes Ohio State University law professor Mr Daniel C.K. Chow, who spent two years in China leading anti-counterfeiting efforts for the consumer products giant Procter & Gamble.
"Most consumers think it's harmless fun to buy knockoffs," Chow said. "But if you buy counterfeit products, you are supporting organized crime and all the abuses that come with it, including narcotics, smuggling and prostitution." Read more here.
IP Dragon quoted Thomas Ehmer head of IP at Puma in January 2007 that the counterfeiting operations have become much more professional in 2006: “We are now facing organised crime,” he concludes." Read more here.
The link between counterfeiting and organised crime different from counterfeiting, such as narcotics, (forced) prostitution, does not sound too far fetched, although IP Dragon has not found proof of this suggestion. But it makes sense for criminial organisations to stop their narcotics and prostitution operations and start or extend their operations with counterfeiting, since this is very profitable and the punishment is less severe in comparison to narcotics and prostitution.