As a part of a raid on a warehouse in Strangeways, twelve tonnes of fake designer gear was seized. Police said the haul includes shoes, clothing, handbags, watches, wallets, perfume and sunglasses, which have a street value of several million pounds.
Officers believe that the building was a supply depot in the district. Two people have been arrested on suspicion of offences relating to the distribution and selling of counterfeit goods.
The operation was executed by the City of London Police’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) and officers from the City’s Support Group, with the help of Immigration Services and Greater Manchester Police.
Detective Constable Peter Gartland, of the City of London Police’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit, said: “Buying and selling counterfeit goods is not a victimless crime. As well as damaging legitimate businesses, it also helps fund other serious organised crime. An individual may think that when buying counterfeit goods they are only affecting a multi-million-pound brand, but in reality, they are helping to fund organised criminal activity.”
“We have and will continue to do warrants in the area to tackle the large scale counterfeit problem that Cheetham Hill has.”
Chief Inspector Simon Nasim from GMP’s City of Manchester Division, said: “Selling counterfeit goods is illegal, and the money made in these shops helps to fund organised crime. It is not victimless. It lines the pockets of criminals for much more sinister crimes, which can have a devastating impact on our communities, and it’s a priority that we will continue to crack down on.”
“Counterfeit goods can also pose a serious health risk to individuals as they have note undergone the health and safety checks that are mandatory for mainstream goods.”