A man from Wigan, Jeet LAL appeared at Manchester Magistrates Court on a Thursday 29th November 2018, charged with four offences of selling counterfeit goods contrary to Section 92 of The Trademarks Act 1994. He pleaded guilty to all matters and was sentenced to a 12 month Community Order with a requirement to undertake 80 hours Unpaid Work and ordered to pay an £85 Victims Surcharge. The court ordered the forfeiture and destruction of all seized goods.
The case was brought by TM Eye as a private criminal prosecution on behalf of its clients, Beats Electronics, Hugo Boss and another well known luxury goods brand.
LAL ran a warehouse in Great Ducie Street, Manchester, in the area known as ‘Counterfeit Street’, from where he sold a wide variety of fake goods from numerous luxury brands including; Michael Kors, Superdry, Chanel, Nike, Adidas, Ted Baker and many others. No enforcement action was taken in relation to these brands at the request of the companies representatives.
The prosecution and conviction are a direct result of Phase Four of Operation Mordor, TM Eye’s response to tackling the organised crime in and around the Strangeways area of Manchester. Between 8th May and 30th May 2018, operatives from TM Eye’s Dedicated Undercover Unit carried out three (3) test purchases of fake goods whilst supported by the TM Eye surveillance team. All the test purchases were visually recorded and provided irrefutable evidence leading to the guilty plea at court.
TM Eye Director David McKelvey said,”Lal ran a warehouse in a large block in Great Ducie Street. The block was protected like a fortress with guards on the door who had electronic key fobs to close steel shutters within seconds whilst immediately walking away. Steel plated interior doors would then be secured for the additional protection of the criminals inside giving them time to escape through unlawfully constructed escape routes. Teams of spotters operated on the street at the corner of each road and from roof tops. Many had radios or mobile telephones to warn others in the area. In the event of any enforcement activity a series of whistles would sound and the entire area close down. Often members of the public would become trapped inside these premises, many of which were a serious fire risk. Against this sophisticated organised crime TM Eye undercover operatives secured vital evidence against Lal and many other such criminals leading to their convictions.
Lal now has a conviction which is recorded on the Police National Computer as a result of the Information Sharing Agreement with The Association of Chief Police Officers Criminal Records Office and his fingerprints, photograph and DNA will be taken by Greater Manchester Police.
I would like to thank GMP for their support in this latest phase of Operation Mordor and the Intellectual Property Office Intelligence Hub who have been instrumental in securing these outstanding results.
Together with our partners on The Strangeways Group we are slowly reducing the footprint of crime in the area and making a visible difference to the residents and honest business owners.”
TM Eye has prosecuted over 450 criminal cases as a private prosecutor in the past 3 years and has a 100% conviction rate in cases brought by them. Over 13% of those convicted have received custodial sentences. Over eighty (80) convictions have been secured against organised criminals operating in ‘Counterfeit Street’ during the TM Eye Operation codenamed Mordor.