LANCASHIRE County Council Trading Standards officers made a huge haul of counterfeit goods after swooping on an address yesterday, sending out the message that sales of fake goods will not be tolerated.
Counterfeit items worth an estimated retail value of £34,000 were seized including fake garments, wallets and keyrings. The internet traders involved face potential prosecution in relation to offences under the Trade Marks Act 1994 which carries a potential maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment.
The raid follows other operations in East Lancashire over recent weeks, where counterfeit GHD hair straighteners were found on sale in Oswaldtw! istle, and counterfeit tobacco products were seized in Nelson.
Coun. Albert Atkinson, deputy leader of Lancashire County Council, said: “Fake goods may be linked with serious crime, and counterfeiters make a fortune while avoiding paying much-needed taxes.
“The success of these raids sends a clear message to those operating illegally that such activity will not be tolerated in Lancashire.”
Paul Noone, head of Lancashire County Council’s Trading Standards Service, added: “Counterfeiting is often regarded as a victimless crime but in reality it has a serious financial impact on local businesses and the livelihood of their employees, who rely on sales of genuine products.
“Fakes are not only inferior in quality but can often also pose a risk to health and be genuinely dangerous.”
Anyone who suspects they have seen counterfeit goods on sale can report them by calling the Consumer Direct hotline on 0! 845 600 1352.