March 10 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, February 13, 2014
Smuggled counterfeit goods worth more than £2million have been seized at Britain’s biggest container port.
Border Force officers at the Port of Felixstowe found two illegal consignments – fake Nike trainers and Dr Dre Beats headphones – in cargo shipments arriving from China.
The shipment of headphones, which also included fake batteries, designer label belts, cigarette lighters and children’s umbrellas, was worth an estimated £1.66m.
The shipment of 3,612 pairs of Nike trainers was worth an estimated £379,000.
Kevin Sayer, from Border Force, said: “In both cases the smugglers had made quite sophisticated attempts to evade detection.
“The headphones had been shipped in non-branded, shrink-wrapped cases.
“When these outer cases were removed officers found a second shrink-wrapped box this time showing the Dr Dre trademarks.
“With the trainers, the smugglers had placed the shoes in boxes branded Junior. Inside the boxes, some of the trainers were openly found to be fraudulently branded as Nike Air Max.
“However, in some instances the criminals had gone further, with Junior branding stitched over the Nike logos.”
Mr Sayer said officers had selected the containers for further examination because of a discrepancy with the paperwork.
He said: “Cheap counterfeits undercut honest traders and leave shoppers with goods that are at best inferior to genuine products and at worst, harmful or unsafe.
“It can also see unscrupulous importers attempt to avoid duty and VAT, defrauding the UK taxpayer”.
After suspected counterfeit goods are detained by Border Force, the companies who own the rights to the authentic products are contacted to verify that the items are fakes.
The company then decides whether to prosecute the importer. After this process is complete, the goods are destroyed.
The headphones were found on January 10 and the trainers on January 28. The rights holders have now confirmed the items are fakes.
Anyone with information about activity they suspect may be linked to smuggling should call the hotline 0800 59 5000.