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Suleman ALI appeared at St Albans Magistrates Court on 21st October 2018, charged with three 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 to include 200 hours unpaid work. He was ordered to pay £750.00 costs and also a £85 victims surcharge.

The case was brought by TM Eye as a private criminal prosecution on behalf of one of its luxury goods clients.

 

Ali operated a stall at Bovingdon Market, Hemel Hempstead, selling fake goods for brands including Michael Kors, Chanel, Fendi, Armani, Gucci, Prada and many others. These brands were not subject to any enforcement action by TM Eye.

TM Eye undercover detectives supported by their surveillance team undertook covertly filmed test purchases on 5th May 2018, 12th May 2018 and 19th May 2018. Having gathered sufficient evidence, a criminal summons was then applied for, issued and served leading to the prosecution and conviction. Ali now has a criminal conviction recorded on the Police National Computer and risks a custodial sentence should he re offend.

TM Eye has prosecuted over 400 criminal cases as a private prosecutor and has a 100% conviction rate.

 

TM Eye Director David McKelvey said, “Bovingdon market operates a substantial number of stalls selling counterfeit goods and has historically been a significant problem. Those criminals involved avoid openly selling brands that TM Eye protects but continue to sell fake goods for other brands who are not so robust in protecting their clients or IP rights. Occasionally our undercover and surveillance operatives deployed at this public market identify the sale of counterfeit goods that we can take enforcement action for and we immediately do so.

 

Recently the security operating at the market have been obstructive to TM Eye detectives and Hertfordshire police trying to serve criminal summons on behalf of the court. A formal complaint has been made to the SIA about this behaviour and should it happen again formal legal action will follow against both the market operator and the security company involved. They also risk arrest and prosecution for Obstructiing a Police Officer in the Course of his Duty under Section 89 of The Police Act 1996.

 

This aggressive action also suggests some knowledge of the criminality taking place by the security and market operator within the market and appears to be an attempt to prevent the lawful service of the criminal summons.”

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Diana Osmanova of Romford Road, London, E12 appeared at Thames Magistrates Court on 19th October 2018, charged with three (3) offences of supplying a tobacco product which breached the provisions in Part 2 (labelling) of the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 contrary to sc48(a)(1) of the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016. OSMANOVA pleaded guilty to all matters. She was sentenced to a fine of £120.00 for each matter and ordered to pay £330.00 costs and an £85.00 victims surcharge.

 

The case was brought by TM Eye as a private criminal prosecution on behalf of its Client Japanese Tobacco International (JTI)

 

‘The Prosecution is the result of a covert Investigation by TM Eye’s Illicit Tobacco Team into the sale of counterfeit and illicit tobacco from shop premises at Best Food Groceries, 670 Romford Road, London, E12 5AJ.

 

 

On three separate ocasions during June and July 2018, a TM EYE undercover investigator purchased Illicit tobacco products directly from Diana Osmanova. Each purchase was covertly recorded and Ms Osmanova could be clearly identified in all of the recordings. Each time she sold the undercover operative two packets of Winston Slim cigarettes for £10.00. Osmanova obtained the cigarettes from a room situated to the rear of the shop, None of the cigarettes purchased had been on display inside the shop. Subsequent examination of the cigarettes revealed them to be counterfeit.

 

 

TM Eye Director David McKelvey said, ”Osmanova sold illicit tobacco from this shop in Manor Park, E12. Our undercover operative supported by TM Eye’s surveillance team carried out three test purchases buying two packets of Winston cigarettes on each occasion for £10.00 for the two. The cigarettes were later found to be counterfeit on examination.

 

 

The sale of illicit tobacco causes serious health issues. There is a significant loss of revenue to HM Revenue and Customs and it damages the manufacturer causing job losses and economic damage.

 

TM Eye will robustly enforce the law and prosecute anyone evidenced as selling illicit tobacco that damages the JTI brand and puts the public at risk”

 

TM Eye has prosecuted and convicted over 400 criminals in the past two years and has a 100% conviction rate in private criminal prosecutions brought by TM Eye. Over 13% of those convicted have received custodial sentences.

 

Osmanova will now have her fingerprints, photograph and DNA taken for police indices and the conviction will be recorded on the Police National Computer.