Mohammed ALI of Greenstead Avenue, Manchester, M8 appeared at Manchester Magistrates Court on 29th August 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 to include 200 hours of unpaid work. He was also required to pay a victims surcharge. A Forfeiture and Destruction Order was made by the court for all goods seized.
The case was brought by TM Eye as a private criminal prosecution on behalf of its clients HUGO BOSS and another well known luxury brand.
TM Eye had previously prosecuted ALI and had convicted him on 18th February 2018 for selling fake goods at 171 Great Ducie Street, Cheetham Hill, Manchester. He had been sentenced at that time to a 12 month Community Order to include 150 hours unpaid work and required to attend a 20 day rehabilitation course. He was in breach of this Community Order at the time of committing the new offences.
TM Eye had identified that ALI was again committing criminal offences by selling fake goods from new premises at the rear of Great Ducie Street, in the area known as ‘Counterfeit Street’. ALI sold a wide variety of counterfeit luxury brands including; Michael Kors, Adidas, Nike, North Face, Moncler, Chanel, Uggs and many others from the premises located on the first floor of a large warehouse. The premises were covered in sheet metal, barbed wire and had a vacuum door system with large steel gates. Spotters operated from the roof with back to back radios and a guard operated the doors to prevent entry by law enforcement.
Undercover operatives from TM Eye’s Dedicated Undercover Unit supported by their surveillance team carried out a series of covert test purchases having covertly secured entry to the premises. Hidden cameras evidenced the sales by ALI and this evidence was instrumental in securing the convictions.
TM Eye Director David McKelvey said, “ALI is a prolific offender. He has been prosecuted by TM Eye twice this year and was in breach of his original sentence. Should ALI re offend we will prosecute him again and we hope that the court will seriously consider a custodial sentence to reflect the seriousness of the offending and the huge sums of criminal cash that is made from the trade in fake goods in the area known as ‘Counterfeit Street’. This is organised crime at its highest level. Counterfeit goods worth millions of pounds causing huge damage to UK and European companies are sold daily from the criminal warehouses and shops in this area. It is the centre of the UK’s illicit trade.
TM Eye has successfully convicted over 70 people to date through Operation Mordor and will continue to target those involved in this criminality. Further criminal cases from phase four of Operation Mordor will take place in the coming months.
The trade in illicit goods directly funds terrorism, drugs and gun crime. Those involved operate in a black market where no tax is paid and dangerous goods are openly traded. Phase Four of Operation Mordor has led to the prosecution of criminals engaged in the open sale of illicit tobacco and controlled drugs as well as luxury goods and our detectives working in partnership with Greater Manchester Police have seized large amounts of fake medicines, controlled drugs, tobacco, luxury goods and electrical goods.
TM Eye will seek confiscation orders against some of those who are due to appear in the coming months to secure their criminal proceeds and assets.
TM Eye has prosecuted over 400 criminals in the past two years and has a 100% conviction rate. All those convicted have their fingerprints, photographs and DNA taken for police indices. All TM Eye convictions are recorded on the Police National Computer as a result of an MOU with the Association of Chief Police Officers Criminal Records Office (ACRO).
Over 13% of TM Eye’s convictions result in custodial sentences.”