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Seized fake goods to benefit the needy

A haul of seized counterfeit goods is set for a new lease of life with some of the world’s poorest people thanks to Borough of Poole's Trading Standards team.

The fake goods consisting of clothing, footwear and bags and with a genuine retail value of around £45,000 was seized by Trading Standards officers during three investigations into the supply of counterfeit goods in Poole.

The large consignment is no longer required as the legal cases against the counterfeiters have recently been concluded, and will now be distributed to good causes across eastern Europe, Pakistan and Africa.

James Norman, Regulatory Team Manager, Borough of Poole, said: "Selling counterfeit goods at markets, on the street or via social media and auction websites is not uncommon. However, it is not a victimless crime. Unsuspecting customers are cheated as they believe they are buying the genuine article only to be disappointed and unable to obtain reimbursement from the trader. Counterfeiting damages the trademark of reputable companies and deprives those local Poole businesses who sell the genuine article of the income needed to thrive."

Having concluded their investigations, one of which saw the successful prosecution of a local man earlier this year, Trading Standards were able to hand over 38 large evidence sacks of fake goods including Ralph Lauren shirts, Cath Kidston bags, Adidas tracksuits, Nike trainers, Superdry jackets and Barbour jackets to the National Police Aid Convoy.

The Nottinghamshire based charity travelled to Poole to collect the goods which will be broken down into smaller bundles before their onward distribution to countries where poverty is rife.    

Cllr John Rampton, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Consumer Protection, Borough of Poole, said: "Lots of people view selling counterfeit goods as a petty crime, but the truth is it is just one part of a long distribution chain often linked to organised criminal gangs, the exploitation of child labour in sweatshops and producing often unsafe goods. I am delighted to see a really positive outcome from these investigations where some of the world's most deprived communities will benefit.”

Counterfeiters can face up to 10 years imprisonment and unlimited fines for offences committed under the Trade Marks Act.