Counterfeit goods with an estimated street value of over £2m were seized from a number of businesses on Moulton Street, Manchester on Tuesday 13th and Friday 16th December .
Greater Manchester Police and Manchester City Council’s Trading Standard’s officers raided a number of businesses in the Strangeways area of the city that were suspected of selling counterfeit goods.
The quantity of items seized during the raid filled two 40ft containers. The goods seized included Louis Vuitton, Prada and Vivienne Westwood handbags, Adidas and Converse tracksuits, and Nike trainers as well as counterfeit jewellery.
The raids form part of ongoing multi-agency enforcement in the area and follow a number of recent prosecutions for the possession of counterfeit goods and a similar raid in November when £1m worth of goods were seized. Landlords have also begun evicting tenants who are involved in criminal counterfeiting activity.
Recent enforcement action in the area has seen:
Mr Tahir Parviaz, of Heald Green, Stockport, pleaded guilty to 11 offences of being in possession of counterfeit goods at 1 Harris Street in October 2016. Mr Parvaiz was sentenced to a Community Order Curfew for 4 months (7pm – 7am), and had to pay costs of £2491.
This followed the private prosecutions by TM Eye of Dean Anthony Cole from the Strangeways area of Manchester, who appeared at Manchester and Salford Magistrates Court in October, charged with four offences of selling counterfeit goods from a ground floor shop in Lockett St. He was sentenced to an immediate 8 weeks custody.
Riasat Ali. Greenstead Street, Cheetham Hill, Manchester, also appeared in October and was charged with eight offences under Section 92 of the Trademarks Act 1994 relating to a premises at 13 Bury New Road. He was sentenced to 16 weeks immediate custody.
Further multi-agency work is planned over the coming months to deal with businesses still continuing to trade in counterfeit goods and warnings are being issued to those landlords who stand to make a profit from ongoing criminal activity.
Councillor Nigel Murphy, Manchester City Council executive member for neighbourhoods, said:“The council, the police and the Anti-Counterfeiting Group are all resolute in their desire to tackle the distribution and sale of fake goods wherever it is a problem.
“The recent seizures of counterfeit goods in the Strangeways area of the city along with the prosecution of a number of businesses demonstrate just how seriously we take the issue and the effectiveness of the current strategy.
“Counterfeit goods present a very real problem. In the run up to Christmas we all feel our wallets being pinched and counterfeit items can seem like an easy way to save some cash – however the products are often of extremely poor quality and fake items can be incredibly dangerous if they do not meet the required standards. So I would ask for everyone to use their heads this December and avoid buying fake gifts – you could be putting a loved one at risk”.
Baroness Neville-Rolfe, Minister of State for Energy and Intellectual Property, said: “I congratulate Trading Standards Manchester for the major impact they are having on shutting down opportunistic counterfeit traders. We were clear that this trade would not be tolerated. This is partnership working at Christmas.