Officers from the Council’s Trading Standards service, together with the Police, raided a local car boot sale just before it opened to the public.
Acting on Intelligence, officers made an early morning visit on Sunday, when they seized a large quantity of counterfeit / fake items neatly displayed on tables and on the floor in front of two vehicles.
In total in excess of 1,100 items were seized including clothing, footwear, bedding, watches, handbags and perfume. Trade marks such as Nike, North Face, Adidas, Hugo Boss, EA7, Converse, Stone Island, Prada, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Ugg, Rolex and MK were on open display which had a conservative estimated value of over £18,000.
An individual in their late 30’s was arrested and a search at another location was conducted which found further counterfeit items stored in boxes and bin bags.
The individual was interviewed under caution by trading standards officers at Coventry Police Station and was later released pending further enquiries.
Cllr Patricia Hetherton, Chair of the Council’s Licensing and Regulatory Committee, said: “This is an excellent result for our trading standard team and I am also grateful to the assistance provided by Coventry Police.
“People should be aware that by purchasing counterfeit goods they are having a detrimental effect on the livelihoods of legitimate local businesses and their employees.
“Also, we are reminding organisers of Car Boot Sales about their responsibilities in helping to put an end to the trade in counterfeit goods.”
Trading Standards had visited the market on a previous Sunday and bought an item which was sent to the Trade Mark holder who confirmed the item was fake and of very poor quality.
The sale and distribution of counterfeit and pirated goods is a criminal offence which, upon conviction, attracts a maximum prison sentence of 10years, an unlimited fine or both. Sellers of fake items are also subject to the Proceeds of Crime Act, allowing enforcement agencies to apply for confiscation of criminal assets. Those involved in this activity as well as those supporting the activity also face prosecution with regards to money laundering offences.
Cllr Hetherton, added: “The sale of counterfeit goods will simply not be tolerated in Coventry and I would urge residents that if they spot or believe a trader in Coventry is supplying any fake goods, please report it using our dedicated and anonymous Hotline: 0300 303 2636."
Investigations are still ongoing.