Over a million pounds worth of counterfeit goods seized in huge police operation
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This morning (Wednesday 1 December 2021), officers from City of London Police’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU), the North West Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit and GMP's Cheetham Hill Neighbourhood Team executed three warrants within the Cheetham Hill area of Manchester.
Two of the warrants were conducted at residential properties on Gilridge Road and Egerton Road in Whalley Range and the third warrant was conducted at a commercial premise on Lockett Street in Cheetham Hill.
Officers seized over £1million worth of counterfeit goods, including clothing, shoes, electricals, watches, jewellery, and perfume as well as a large quantity of cash.
Three men aged 36, 57 and 61, were arrested on suspicion of importing, distributing and selling counterfeit goods. They remain in custody for questioning.
The search warrants, which developed from a previous operation that involved the sale and distribution of counterfeit items, saw 60 officers and staff working together.
Detective Chief Inspector, Suzanne Ferris, of the City of London Police’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU), said:
“This operation will have severely disrupted organised crime groups linked to counterfeit goods. We believe the thousands of goods seized would have supplied gangs in Cheetham Hill, selling fake goods across the country this Christmas.
“Intellectual property crime is not victimless and todays raids should send a strong message to all criminals involved that this won’t be tolerated, and we are constantly working towards our next operation.
“Today showed the effectiveness of partnership working and I thank Greater Manchester Police, and our other partners involved, for all their help.”
Neighbourhood Inspector for Cheetham Hill William Jennings-Wharton, said:
"The low prices on counterfeit goods can draw people in, especially in the run up to Christmas; however these good have not passed the legal health and safety checks that legitimate products are subject to, and are often poor quality.
"It can be easy to assume that it is the multi-million pound brands affected when buying counterfeit goods, however this is not a victimless crime and helps to fund organised criminal activity."