A woman from Manchester appeared at Manchester Magistrates Court on 14 November 2019, charged with four (4) offences of selling counterfeit goods and possessing counterfeit goods for sale contrary to Section 92 of The Trademarks Act 1994. She pleaded guilty to all matters. She was sentenced to a 12 Month Community Order with a requirement to undertake 60 Hours Unpaid Work. She was ordered to pay £500 towards the prosecution costs and an £85 victims surcharge.
The case was brought by TM Eye as a private criminal prosecution.
The convicted woman had sold fake goods from shop premises in Bury New Road in the area known as ‘Counterfeit Street’. The conviction is the latest resulting from TM Eye’s Operation Mordor.
Zameer AZAM who originally gave the false name Zahir ABBAS, who resides in Queens Road, Cheetham Hill, Manchester, appeared at Manchester Magistrates Court today charged with four (4) offences of selling counterfeit goods and possessing counterfeit goods for sale 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 undertake 80 Hours Unpaid Work. He was also ordered to pay a contribution towards investigation prosecution costs of £4,000 and a £90 Victims Surcharge.
The case was brought by TM Eye as a private criminal prosecution on behalf of its client Hugo Boss.
AZAM operated a shop in Harris Street, Strangeways, Manchester in the area known as ‘Counterfeit Street’. He sold a wide variety of fake goods from luxury goods brands including; Michael Kors, Gucci, Chanel, Nike, Adidas, SuperDry and many others. No enforcement action was taken on behalf of these brands at their request.
The conviction follows Phase 8 of TM Eye’s Operation Mordor set up to tackle organised crime in and around the Strangeways area of Manchester. The area is well known for open criminality and the sale of counterfeit goods and supplies most of the UK. AZAM operated a large criminal shop with ‘spotters’ on the door and in the street. The spotters had an electronic key fob to close the steel shutter in the event of TM Eye or police activity. The investigation was undertaken by the TM Eye Illicit Luxury Goods Team supported by the Dedicated Undercover Unit and its Surveillance Team. Covert test purchases were made on 20th July 2019, 23rd July 2019 and the 30th July 2019. Each test purchase was covertly recorded on film and formed the evidence leading to the conviction.
TM Eye works closely with Greater Manchester Police to gather best evidence and has privately prosecuted over 100 criminals operating in the area over the past 3 years. Manchester City Council have secured Closure Orders and re possessions on the back of the TM Eye convictions. All those convicted have their convictions recorded on the Police National Computer (PNC) and have their fingerprints photographs and DNA taken for police indices. Every conviction is shared with the UK Border Agency and Inland Revenue. There have been recent deputations following TM Eye convictions.
TM Eye Director David McKelvey said,“Counterfeit Street is a prolific area for the sale of fake goods and causes significant damage to British and European companies, it impacts on jobs and is directly linked to Human Slavery and Trafficking. The criminal proceeds are used to support terrorism, serious and organised crime and drug offences.
TM Eye have seen significant success in the area through working in close partnership with Greater Manchester Police and the area of crime has been reduced significantly. Clearly coming up to Christmas the crime will again increase. TM Eye will continue to ‘catch and convict’ anyone committing criminal offences that impact on our clients brands”.
Natalie Green of Prestwood Drive, Collier Row, Essex, appeared at Barkingside Magistrates Court on 7th November 2019, charged with six (6) offences of selling counterfeit goods and possessing counterfeit goods for sale, Contrary to Section 92 of The Trademarks Act 1994. She pleaded guilty to all matters.
She was sentenced to a 12 Month Community Order with a requirement to undertake 140 Hours Unpaid Work. The court ordered her to pay £3,676.42 towards the prosecution investigation costs. An order was made for the destruction of all goods seized throughout the operation.
The prosecution was brought by TM Eye as a private criminal prosecution on behalf of its clients MULBERRY, HUGO BOSS and another well known luxury goods brand.
Natalie Green operated an online shop selling fake goods from a wide variety of luxury goods brands and also attended car boot sales across Essex selling similar counterfeit items. She took payment via a PAYPAL account or cash at markets.
The prosecution and conviction follows a 3-month investigation by the TM Eye Illicit Luxury Goods Team supported by their Dedicated Undercover Unit and the TM Eye Surveillance Team. Green was identified selling fake goods at the Bonzer Car Boot Sale at Whalebone Lane, Essex. A series of covert test purchases were then carried out on 2nd August 2019, 4th August 2019, 18th August 2019 and the 11th September 2019. A male suspect was also evidenced selling fake goods from the stall on behalf of Green on other dates. Every test purchase was covertly filmed and formed the evidence leading to the conviction.
Green had previously been prosecuted by TM Eye for infringement of trademark offences when she was subjected to test purchases online, via her Facebook account ‘Somethink Special’.
On 21st September 2018, she had appeared at Barkingside Magistrates Court where she was sentenced to a fine of £276.00 and required to pay a victim surcharge of £30.00, An order towards prosecution costs was made in the sum of £1000.00. (TM Eye Op 1831 refers).
Following this prosecution TM Eye were made aware that Natalie Green was continuing to sell via Facebook and at Car Boot Sales and commenced this new operation.
TM Director David McKelvey said, “Natalie Green was a prolific offender who even though convicted a year ago decided that she was above the law and would continue to commit crime. As soon as TM Eye were aware we commenced another covert operation tackle this criminality. Green is fortunate not to be going to prison today and the sentence reflects the seriousness of the crime.
TM Eye have now convicted over 500 criminals in private criminal prosecutions and have a 100% conviction rate. 13% of those convicted receive custodial sentences”.