Customs officers sniff out fake perfume

AN attempt to smuggle 20,000 bottles of counterfeit Coco Chanel perfume worth more than �1million through Felixstowe docks has been foiled.

AN attempt to smuggle 20,000 bottles of counterfeit Coco Chanel perfume worth more than �1million through Felixstowe docks has been foiled.

The haul seized by UK Border Agency official arrived from China spread across two containers.

It had a total retail value of �1.5m.

The VAT payable on a genuine load would have been more than �200,000.

Although the seizure was made on November 26, the UK Border Agency - after consultations with the rights holder - has only now been able to confirm the illegitimacy of the goods.

Jim Jarvie, Deputy Regional Director Central Region of UKBA, said: “These items were no doubt destined for the festive market, but no one would have been pleased to unwrap a bottle of this counterfeit product on Christmas morning.

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“These goods are totally unregulated and have been known to contain all manner of unsavoury ingredients, including anti-freeze and even urine.

“Smuggling also cheats the British taxpayer, undermines honest traders and the proceeds are often driven back into organised crime.”

Suspicions about the true nature of the consignment were aroused when supposedly high value perfume was found amongst cheap discount brands when a search was carried out.

The counterfeit perfume will now be destroyed and the bottles will be recycled.

No arrests have been made and investigations are ongoing.

Anyone with information about activity they suspect may be linked to smuggling should call 0800 59 5000.

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