Three men aged between 24 and 33 were arrested on suspicion of trademark offences and remain in custody for questioning.
In a joint operation led by the Operation Vulcan team alongside partners from UK Border Force, Immigration Enforcement, Manchester Trading Standards, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue, Manchester City Council’s Anti-Social Behaviour Team and several professional brand representatives, came together to tackle counterfeit shops in Cheetham Hill.
Officers sawed off the shutters and smashed through doors to find a man and his son who had been locked inside, against their will, by the shop keepers.
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Inspector Andy Torkington from GMP’s Operation Vulcan, said: “With the summer holidays fast approaching, our intelligence suggests that there are some people who have not been watching the news in Manchester and considering opening up counterfeit shops in premises that we have previously closed down and previously deemed both unsafe and dangerous by our partners at Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue and Manchester City Council.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to remind those thinking about reopening shops that it would be pointless for you to do so; we continue to be present and visible in the area with a sincere dedication to shutting down shops that reopen. Shops will not be allowed to reopen and prosper on our watch, they will be shut down immediately.
“The power of collaborative working should not be underestimated, by sharing intelligence with partners we are in a strong position to act on information immediately.
“In an area that was once well known for the sale of counterfeit goods, it is a testament to the dedication of our officers and staff alongside partner agencies who continue to ensure that those who distribute, sell and profit from the selling of these goods are brought to justice.
“It is remarkable that even though it has been 9 months since the creation of Operation Vulcan, a small contingency of criminals continue to think that they can open shops and profit from illicit activity.
“Operation Vulcan is here to stay in the area and if you are looking to purchase fake products, you won’t find them here in Cheetham Hill.”