British police catch the cheats in Cheetham Hill
- October 16, 2017
- Posted by: Bishop Group
- Category: Blog
Police in Manchester, England, conducted raids last week of businesses selling counterfeit luxury products. In one day they seized more than £2 million ($2.7 million) of counterfeit clothing. Six people were detained by police.
Chief Inspector Denise Pye of Greater Manchester Police told the World Intellectual Property Review that members of organised crime groups are often involved in the production and sale of counterfeit goods to fund further criminal activity.
Cheetham Hill is well known to Bishop IP Investigations. In March this year we were commissioned to undertake inquiries there on behalf of an international leather goods brand who suspected that counterfeit versions of its products were on sale in the area.
More than 40 wholesale and retail outlets and market stalls were visited. Our client’s products have distinctive trademarked designs. Fortunately, we were able to report that no fake versions of their products were on sale.
However, we did find fake versions of products being sold under the names Moschino, Valentino, Mulberry, Burberry, Michael Kors, Chanel, Gucci, Ted Baker, Prada, Armani, Dior, Boss, Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Jimmy Choo, Adidas, Nike and others.
When the client came to Bishop IP Investigations, Managing Director Graham Robinson suggested that we start at Cheetham Hill because he knew it as a “hotbed of counterfeiting.”
“It’s known in the IP community as a den of iniquity,” he said.
Raids in the area between 2013 and 2016 resulted in seizures of one million counterfeit cigarettes and 70 kilos of fake tobacco with an estimated value of more than £5 million ($6.6 million), fake designer clothes and accessories worth £1 million ($1.3 million) and fake vodka worth £250,000 ($332,000).
The Manchester Evening News reported last year that, according to the UK Intellectual Property Office, Cheetham Hill’s purveyors of counterfeit goods “have links to serious organised crime, drug dealing and violence.”
The newspaper quoted Baroness Neville-Rolfe, the UK Minister for Intellectual Property, as saying: “This trade, where income tax and consumer safety is simply ignored, undercuts and undermines legitimate businesses.” She added: “We are leaving fewer and fewer places for criminals to hide.”