Designer fakes seized at port

FAKE designer label goods worth £750,000 have been seized by Customs officers at Felixstowe port, it was revealed today.The huge haul of counterfeit items included labelled handbags, luggage, wallets and belts – and were destined for sale to an unsuspecting public.

FAKE designer label goods worth £750,000 have been seized by Customs officers at Felixstowe port, it was revealed today.

The huge haul of counterfeit items included labelled handbags, luggage, wallets and belts - and were destined for sale to an unsuspecting public.

There were more than 3,800 separate pieces, including those marked as being made by Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Prada.

It is thought that the goods were originally manufactured in China and were destined for markets in London.


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Today Customs chiefs warned people to be on their guard and urged manufacturers to take action to protect their goods from copies.

Pete Woods, Customs manager at Felixstowe, said: "Smuggling fake items like this is big business undertaken by people after a quick profit and giving no concern to the consumer.

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"Often the buyer is left with goods that are shoddy and fall apart after a few days.

"Sometimes counterfeit goods are downright dangerous. It is not just designer items and CDs or DVDs that come into the country, we have seized all manner of goods, like fake batteries and car parts that could cost people their lives.

"People who buy cheap goods at car boot fairs and the like need to be aware that they are not necessarily getting what they bargained for."

Customs works in partnership with the legitimate trade and other agencies like Trading Standards and the police to tackle those who trade unfairly and exploit the consumer.

While examining one of the sets of the fake luggage found in containers at the port, Customs officers came across an aluminium case that contained scores of fake designer watches.

A Customs spokesman said no arrests had been made or charges brought and action in the case had been confined to the seizure of the goods, which have now been sent for destruction.

All businesses in the UK can have their property rights protected at importation from counterfeiting and other illegal use of their trademarks free of charge by registering with Customs.

This enables Customs to stop any goods at import, export or transit, which they suspect might be counterfeit, pirated or patent infringing.

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