Counterfeit trainers seized at port

AN organised crime gang's plot to flood markets with thousands of fake Nike trainers has been foiled at Felixstowe docks.

AN organised crime gang's plot to flood markets with thousands of fake Nike trainers has been foiled at Felixstowe docks.

Today, two containers holding more than 7,200 pairs of women's training shoes were due to be re-opened at the port for a comprehensive inspection.

The counterfeit goods arrived from Athens, but were intercepted by customs officers when they arrived in Suffolk.

Boxed in 41 pallets, the 7,260 trainers were originally suspected to be illegal cigarettes when the containers were put through a scanner.


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However, when they were opened officials discovered the trainers, which are estimated to have a street value of �500,000.

The documentation stated they were en route to a warehouse in Deptford, Kent.

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Trading Standards officers were due to fully examine the haul in Felixstowe this morning the containers after being resealed and placed in a secure location.

Although the shoes arrived on a ship from Greece, it is believed they were probably manufactured in Turkey or China.

Sasha Watson, a fair trading officer at Suffolk County Council, said: "We have put a seizure notice on the shoes and they are now under our control. This is likely to be part of organised crime.

"We have sent a letter to the importer requesting he attend an interview.

"The reason customs officers checked the containers was that they were looking for cigarettes. They were suspicious because of the cartons.”

Gangs are now turning to smuggling counterfeit goods as an alternative to drugs and cigarettes. This is because the sentences are not as severe, yet the profits are still huge.

However, anyone who thinks they may be buying quality goods at a knockdown price is in for a surprise.

Ms Watson said: "Buying from a market or unknown trader means you can't be sure of the authenticity of the items.

"The money you would be paying for those goods would probably be for substandard goods.

"We would urge people to only buy from reputable traders."

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