TM Eye secures further criminal convictions in ‘Counterfeit Street’.
On 2nd and 3rd March 2017, a further eight (8) defendants appeared at Manchester and Salford Magistrates Court, charged with offences of selling counterfeit goods, contrary to The Trademarks Act 1994. All pleaded guilty.
One man Umar Bin ABBAS, date of birth 28.04.1987, of Ollier Avenue, Manchester, M12 5SW, failed to attend. A no bail warrant was issued for his arrest. He remains wanted.
All the convictions follow Phase 3 of Operation ‘Mordor’.
The convictions are a result of private criminal prosecutions brought by TM Eye on behalf of their clients. Those convicted included:
Operation 1238-DM-16 – Mustapha Hassan Ahmed of Cromwell Avenue, Manchester received an immediate 8 weeks sentence of imprisonment. A victim surcharge of £115.00 was imposed.
Operation 1243-DM-16 – Sardar Wajid Arif Khan of Larch Gardens, Manchester received a community order and fine. He was required to complete 200 hours unpaid work and to make a contribution towards the investigation costs of £1820.00. He was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £85.00.
Operation 1247-DM-16 – Mirwaise Jami of Felthorpe Drive, Manchester, M8 received a sentence of 12 weeks imprisonment suspended for 12 months with a requirement order to attend 10-days rehabilitation. A contribution of £2,000 was ordered against the defendant towards the investigation costs and a victim surcharge of £125 was also imposed.
Operation 1230-DM-16 – Adnan Ahmad of St Davids Court, Manchester, M8 received a community order and fine. He was given a 12-month community order with a requirement to complete 175 hours unpaid work. A contribution towards the investigation costs of £1664.00 and a victim surcharge of £85.00 was ordered against the defendant.
Operation 1244-DM-16 – Kamadin Ahmadi of Oakhill Way, Manchester, M8 9EZ received a 12-month community order with a requirement to complete 140 hours of unpaid work. He was ordered to make a contribution towards the investigation costs of £1560.00, together with a victim surcharge of £85.00
Operation 1241-DM-16 – Nezeuldin Mohammadi of Merridge Walk, Manchester, M8 0TG received a 12-month community order, with a requirement to complete 200 hours of unpaid work. A contribution towards the investigation costs to be paid by the Defendant of £500.00 together with a victim surcharge of £85.00 was made.
Operation 1231-DM-16 – Ahmed Ziaei of Crescent Road, Manchester, M8 5UF, was sentenced to a 12-month community order with a requirement for 55 hours unpaid work. A contribution of £500.00 towards the investigation costs was ordered against the defendant. A victim surcharge of £85.00 was also ordered.
Operation 1235-DM-16 – Ahmed Adeel of Harland Drive, Manchester, M8 0QD received a 2-months curfew order between 8 pm and 7 am and was ordered to make a contribution towards the investigation costs of £150 and a victim surcharge of £85.00.
All the defendants operated warehouse premises selling a wide variety of fake goods in and around the area known as ‘Counterfeit Street’ in Strangeways, Manchester. The premises are all reinforced with steel doors and metal shutters operated by spotters and guards who protect the premises. Sophisticated CCTV systems cover the entrances and street areas and the premises are locked down and secured when law enforcement are suspected as being in the vicinity.
TM Eye undertook a covert undercover infiltration operation codenamed Mordor evidencing the sale of counterfeit goods. Test purchases were made, all evidenced on video, leading to the convictions.
TM Eye Director David McKelvey said, “This was a partnership operation undertaken with Greater Manchester Police, Manchester City Council and HM Revenue and Customs.
TM Eye undertook months of evidence gathering using its dedicated undercover operatives and surveillance teams, culminating in criminal summons being issued by the court. The summonses were served by TM Eye detectives at the home addresses of the suspects or at their criminal business premises with the assistance of police.
Operation Mordor has been an outstanding success. Since it commenced in 2015, with the initial infiltration operation, TM Eye has worked closely with Greater Manchester Police (GMP) and Manchester City Council to reduce offending and convict those who continue to operate their criminal enterprises in and around the area known as ‘Counterfeit Street’. Manchester City Council has been able to close premises and the area of criminality has been reduced substantially.
TM Eye will work with its partners to target the criminals involved in this organised criminality to clean up the Strangeways area and return the streets back to the local residents.
To date twenty six persons have been convicted and a number currently await appearance at court ”
TM Eye has convicted over 300 persons in the criminal courts.
All those convicted by TM Eye have their convictions recorded on the Police National Computer (PNC) as a result of an Information Sharing Agreement with the ACRO Criminal Records Office and have their fingerprints, photographs and DNA taken.
TM Eye has Information Sharing Agreements with Greater Manchester Police and the Intellectual Property Office Intelligence Hub.
TM Eye have undertaken further enforcement activity in the Strangeways area of Manchester known as ‘Counterfeit Street’. On 15th February 2017, in phase 3 of its Operation Mordor TM Eye detectives, working in partnership with Greater Manchester Police, served fifteen criminal summons on persons suspected of involvement in the widespread sale and supply of fake goods at premises in and around the Bury New Road area of Strangeways. All the men are local and are suspected of running eleven separate premises selling fake clothing, electrical goods, leather goods, footwear, perfume, watches and jewellery. The summons relating to over one hundred criminal offences committed in the past 6 months were served at the suspects home addresses and or business premises.
Additional action on 16th February 2017, by TM Eye detectives working with Police, Trading Standards and Border Agency officers, led to a number of additional suspects being identified. These men will be subject to prosecutions in due course. Three premises were raided and a vast amount of counterfeit goods recovered with a value in excess of £1 million.
‘Counterfeit Street’ consists of hundreds of warehouses and shops in and around the Strangeways area of Manchester that sell vast numbers of fake goods. The criminal gangs employ ‘spotters’ and ‘guards’ with back to back radios or mobile phones to protect the premises and have heavy steel doors, barbed wire and metal shutters that are quickly closed to prevent entry by law enforcement. Sophisticated CCTV systems give the criminal gangs advance warning of any enforcement activity. The area is extremely hostile.
Since December 2015, TM Eye’s Operation Mordor has been very successful in tackling criminality in the area. Twenty seven criminals have been convicted in private criminal prosecutions. Two have been sent to prison. Thirty four premises have been evidenced as being involved in the major supply of fake goods and the criminal gangs operating from them disrupted.
TM Eye works closely with the Intellectual Property Office Intelligence Hub, Greater Manchester Police, Manchester Trading Standards, The Border Agency, HM Revenue and Customs and GMP’s Operation Challenger detectives. This partnership activity has seen a significant reduction in premises openly selling counterfeit goods in the area. Manchester City Council has used its powers to close premises and secure Closure Orders.
TM Eye Director David McKelvey said,“the enforcement activity in the Strangeways area is the most significant and successful public / private partnership work in the U.K. And has been extremely successful. TM Eye plays a significant role in tackling crime ‘at the coal face’ by gathering evidence and prosecuting the criminals involved.
We we will continue to ‘catch and convict’ offenders in order to ‘prevent and deter’ offending.”
TM Eye has a 100% conviction rate in over 300 private criminal prosecutions. Every criminal convicted has their fingerprints, photograph and DNA taken and recorded on the Police National Computer alongside the conviction.