Brothers sentenced after £800,000 of counterfeit homeware found in Manchester shop
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Two men who sold counterfeit homeware from a shop in Manchester have been sentenced.
Mohammed Jamshid Ayoubi, 50, of Westbourne Road, Eccles, and Mohammed Tamim Ayoubi, 42, of Windsor Avenue, Whitefield, pleaded guilty at Manchester Magistrates Court on 4 May 2023 to the acquisition of criminal property and distributing articles infringing trademarks.
They were sentenced at Manchester Crown Court on 2 February 2024 as follows:
Mohammed Jamshid Ayoubi was sentenced to 16 months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, and must complete 180 hours of unpaid work.
Mohammed Tamim Ayoubi was sentenced to 14 months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, and must complete 180 hours of unpaid work.
Counterfeit designer homeware, including picture frames, blankets and rugs, worth an estimated loss to the industry of £827,000, were seized by officers from the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) at the City of London Police, during a raid of the shop in November 2021.
Confiscation proceedings will now begin to recover the money that the two men earned by selling counterfeit goods.
Detective Constable Daryl Fryatt, from the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) at the City of London Police, said:
“Counterfeiting is often a gateway to other forms of criminality like drugs supply, money laundering and human trafficking, causing real harm to the communities where these shops are based.
“Mohammed Jamshid and his brother Mohammed Tamim Ayoubi sold low-quality imitations of designer products. Like many counterfeit goods, their stock was made with cheap materials, meaning it was prone to faster damage and needed to be replaced more often than legitimate products.
“It’s vital to remember that buying counterfeit goods can have significant consequences – and selling them can land you with a criminal record, as this case shows.”
Mohammed Jamshid Ayoubi was the director of Tolo Décor Ltd, which sold both unbranded and counterfeit homeware from two adjoining units, Tolo and Best Deals on Derby Street, Manchester. A wall that separated the two premises had been knocked through to create a larger sales floor.
He employed Mohammed Tamim Ayoubi, who worked on the shop floor, where customers could buy sets of counterfeit designer towels for £20 and sets of counterfeit placemats for £25.
PIPCU officers raided Tolo and Best Deals on 30 November 2021. They seized 4,342 counterfeit items, worth an estimated £827,000 in losses to the industry, from a stockroom at the back of the shop and arrested Mohammed Tamim and Mohammed Jamshid Ayoubi.
Both men's mobile phones and a laptop seized from Tolo contained conversations with a number of clients where it was apparent that counterfeit items were being sold from the shop.
Miles Rees, Deputy Director of Intellectual Property Enforcement at the Intellectual Property Office, said:
“Criminals are seeking to exploit consumers and communities for their own financial gain by targeting them with illegal counterfeit products – with little or no regard for their quality or safety.
“This is anything but a victimless crime. Overall, it is estimated that the sale of counterfeit goods contributes to more than 80,000 job losses in the UK each year, diverting funds away from legitimate businesses and into the hands of criminals. This helps to sustain criminal lifestyles, as well as causing genuine harms to the workers often exploited during their production.
“We welcome the ongoing action to disrupt this criminal activity in the Cheetham Hill area, as we continue working with our partners in industry and law enforcement to help protect the public and raise awareness of the damage counterfeits cause”.
The brothers both answered “no comment” to all questions asked by officers during their police interviews.