TM Eye have secured a further conviction of a criminal trader in the area of Manchester known as ‘Counterfeit Street’.
Between 8th and 30th May 2018, TM Eye undercover operatives from its Dedicated Undercover Unit and supported by the TM Eye Surveillance team carried out three covert test purchases of fake goods from Jeet LAL who operated a criminal enterprise from warehouse premises in Great Ducie Street, Manchester.
Jeet LAL ran a substantial warehouse premises in a complex of shops and warehouses within a large building on Great Ducie Street. The premises were protected by a guard on the steel door and spotters on both the street and rooftops. The guard had an electronic key fob enabling him to shut the steel shutters within seconds in the event that law enforcement attempted entry. He would then walk away whilst those trapped inside would secure escape through unlawfully and dangerously constructed stairways. The premises presented a significant risk to the public. Steel plate was affixed to the outside walls and barbed wire across the top of brick walls to add further protection against the authorities.
On 8th May 2018, counterfeit Beats headphones were purchased from LAL at the premises for £10.00 on behalf of TM Eye’s client Apple UK. The actual value would have been £249.95. On 10th May 2018, an undercover operative purchased a Hugo Boss T shirt for £5.00 that would ordinarily cost £49.95 and on 29th May 2018, further fake leather goods were purchased on behalf of another well known luxury goods client for £10.00 that would ordinarily have cost £345.00. Each test purchase was covertly recorded and provided irrefutable evidence that led to the prosecution and conviction. All goods were examined and proven to be counterfeit.
Following the test purchases a criminal summons was issued and served on LAL by TM Eye detectives supported by Greater Manchester Police.
LAL appeared at Manchester Magistrates Court on 29th November 2018 charged with four (4) offences of selling counterfeit goods contrary to Section 92 of The Trademarks Act 1994. He pleaded guilty to all matters. He was sentenced to a 12 Month Community Order with a requirement to complete 80 hours Unpaid Work. He was ordered to pay £85.00 towards prosecution costs and a further £85.00 Victims Surcharge.
LAL will be required to attend a local police station to have his fingerprints, photograph and DNA taken for police indices and now has a conviction.
TM Eye Director David McKelvey said, “Jeet LAL was the latest prolific criminal to be convicted by TM Eye as part of its Operation Mordor tackling organised crime in and around the area of Manchester known as ‘Counterfeit Street’. TM Eye will continue to prosecute and convict these criminals who choose to sell fake goods that seriously damage our clients brands, damage the UK economy and put the public at risk.
This is serious organised crime and the trade in illicit goods has been proven to fund terrorism and serious crime. Most of these fake goods are made in factories abroad where young children or disadvantaged people are kept in slavery to manufacture counterfeit goods. This vast criminal trade must be tackled and TM Eye is leading the way in doing so.
We do not simply seize goods from these shops or warehouses that are re stocked in hours and open again. TM Eye brings real consequences to the criminals involved by convicting them in the criminal courts, taking away their proceeds or criminal assets where possible and in the case of those illegally working in the UK bringing the convictions to the attention of UK Border Agency in order for their immigration status to be reviewed.”