£75k counterfeit goods haul including SAFC shirts seized across Sunderland destroyed

Illegal cigarettes, Sunderland AFC shirts and alcohol were among the counterfeit goods seized in an operation across Sunderland.

Wednesday, 18th March 2020, 1:08 pm
Updated Wednesday, 18th March 2020, 7:45 pm

The £75k haul, which also included clothes, perfume and headphones and was collected over the last few years by Trading Standards Officers, is estimated to have a street value of around £75,000.

Seized from retail premises and outside of public events held across the city, the goods will now be recycled or destroyed.

On Wednesday, March 18 Sunderland City Council issued a warning to those involved in operating a business where counterfeit or illegal items are being sold.

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Clothing, perfume, headphones and illegal cigarettes and alcohol were included in the haul.

They will be caught and the goods will be seized.

Councillor Amy Wilson, Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport, warned the public against falling for what they believe to be “bargain” goods – but are actually of poor quality and could be being used to fund other criminal activity.

In a statement, she said: “I hope this sends out the strongest possible message to counterfeiters that we are prepared to pursue and prosecute anyone involved with the distribution and sale of counterfeit goods, and we will confiscate and destroy illegal products.

“Some people may think the selling of counterfeit goods is a victimless crime, but quite often these goods are a product of organised crime.

The items were seized from retail premises and outside of public events held across the city.

“Groups can supply them into the region with the purpose of making money, which enables them continue funding illicit activities.

“Destroying these items today is another step towards protecting the public against goods which may look like a bargain but in reality are very poor quality, and to prevent the proceeds from the sales being used to fund other criminal activity.”

Counterfeit clothing was confiscated from traders operating outside concerts at the Stadium of Light, and unsafe toys were seized from the city centre during events such as the recent Festival of Light.

Many of the items were also seized from private residential addresses.

The items were confiscated by Sunderland City Council’s Trading Standards Officers.

The proceeds of counterfeiting often go towards funding organised crime, and the illegal ingredients used in counterfeit cigarettes and alcohol are potentially fatal. Destroying the goods not only removes them from sale, but also demonstrates that counterfeiting will not be tolerated.