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News - 6 May 2011
Are they the real thing?

Police raid stops sale of fake merchandise

Thousands of pounds worth of fake designer clothes and pirate CDs, DVDs and computer games were seized in a raid on a market at Brighton Racecourse.

Brighton & Hove City Council's trading standards team, assisted by Sussex Police, took the action on Bank Holiday Monday (May 2).

Five stalls were targeted and a variety of goods were seized including shoes, boots, trainers, jeans, tops, underwear, sunglasses and handbags, bearing fake designer labels such as Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Armani, Dolce and Gabbana, Nike, Ugg and New Era. A large quantity of counterfeit CDs, Blu-Ray DVD’s and fake Nintendo computer games were also confiscated during the raids.

This is good news for the many traders in Brighton selling designer brands and paying a premium to for legitimate sites and contracts.

The council's Council Trading Standards Officers estimate that if the goods had been genuine, they would have had a retail value in excess of £150,000. Hundreds of items were removed by van and are now being held pending further enquiries.

Jo Player, Brighton & Hove City Council's Trading Standards Manager, said: “We’re pleased with how the operation went.

"Trading in fake goods is not a victimless crime as some people like to believe. We know that the criminals that make and sell counterfeit goods re-invest their profits in other criminal enterprises and evade the taxes the rest of us have to pay. It also has a detrimental affect on legitimate local businesses."

Trading Standards enforce the Trade Marks Act 1994 and the Copyright Designs and Patent Act 1988. This legislation makes it a criminal offence to sell fake goods such as designer label clothing and digital copyright material. Trading Standards can seize such goods under the legislation.


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