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Counterfeit goods

Thousands of pounds worth of counterfeit goods seized from car on M6

Counterfeit goods with a retail value of over £15,000 if they were genuine were seized from a car on the M6 in Staffordshire.

The seizure was made by officers from the Central Motorway Police Group on Sunday and the goods handed over to Staffordshire County Council’s trading standards team. Goods included potentially hazardous counterfeit perfume and electrical items. There were also fake branded clothes and trainers.

The car was stop checked on the southbound lane of M6 between junctions 14 and 13. All of the seized goods had been loaded at a Manchester warehouse earlier that day.

Staffordshire County Council’s communities leader Gill Heath said:

It’s pleasing to know that these potentially hazardous items will not be finding their way into people’s homes this Christmas or in the new year. We’d like to remind people that they need to remain vigilant about counterfeit goods sales all year. More and more counterfeit goods are now being sold online, particularly on social media sites. Counterfeit cosmetics and electrical goods can be dangerous.
“These items are increasingly hard to detect just to look at, so when something is being sold at a knock-down price, people should be extremely wary. It is always best to buy from reputable traders. We always say that if something is too good to be true, it usually is. In addition to damaging Staffordshire businesses, counterfeit goods sales help to line criminals’ pockets. These goods are substandard and can be lethal.”

Counterfeit goods are shoddy imitations that will leave people out of pocket and could cause serious harm. Fake electrical goods are hazardous as they can cause fires and electrocution. Harmful substances such as high lead levels in perfume are a risk with counterfeit cosmetics. They are increasingly sold online.

Some of the hidden dangers of counterfeit goods include:
• Counterfeit alcohol such as vodka contains dangerous chemicals which can cause may health problems such as blindness
• Counterfeit perfume can often burn skin or leave a nasty rash and may contain lead
• Fake sunglasses often offer no UVA protection, causing eye damage
• Illicit tobacco is unregulated and cigarettes can be a fire risk as they do not burn out like legitimate products
• Counterfeit children’s toys can often be unsafe with unsuitable small parts and children’s clothes may be inflammable