Mussie MEBERAHTU appeared at Manchester Magistrates Court on 18th May 2018, charged with six offences of selling counterfeit goods contrary to Section 92 of The Trademarks Act 1994. He pleaded guilty to all matters. He was sentenced to 8 Weeks imprisonment suspended for 12 months, and a 12 Month Community Order to include 80 hours unpaid work. He was ordered to pay a £115 Victim Surcharge. The court ordered a Forfeiture and Destruction order for all goods seized.
The case was brought by TM Eye as a private criminal prosecution on behalf of Mulberry and another well known luxury brand.
The prosecution followed a 3 month covert operation by TM Eye detectives as part of Operation Mordor Phase 3. MEBERATHU operated from a ground floor and basement premises in Harris Street, Cheetham Hill, Manchester M8 8EG. He sold a wide variety of fake goods. The premises were protected by three steel doors in an alley covered in barbed wire and a further steel shutter door operated by a guard at its front.
TM Eye Director David McKelvey said,”TM Eye has now convicted more than fifty criminals operating in and around the area of Manchester known as ‘Counterfeit Street’. Each one was a principal and actively involved in the sale of fake goods. This is organised crime on a vast scale and involves Human Trafficking and Human Slavery offences. The counterfeit trade funds crime and terrorism.
TM Eye are working at The Coal Face’ tackling criminality and securing real outcomes for the criminals involved.
TM Eye works closely with its partners at Greater Manchester Police and Manchester City Council to put in place measures to prevent further offending. This has included Closure Orders for criminal premises on the back of TM Eye’s convictions.”
All those convicted by TM Eye have their fingerprints, photographs and DNA taken and recorded on the Police National Computer and police databases.
TM Eye has a 100% conviction rate in over 450 criminal cases brought as a private prosecutor. 13% of those received custodial sentences.
TM Eye detectives from its UK Illicit Pharmaceutical Team supported by colleagues from TM Eye India have carried out a covert operation in Bangalore, India leading to the arrest of a prolific criminal engaged in the sale of fake life saving medicines.
The suspect Jayantilal Murjee was arrested by Indian police supported by TM Eye detectives at premises in Kalasipalyam Market, Bangalore, India. He was operating a substantial manufacturing and packaging site for fake medicines. Over 30,000 counterfeit bottles, labels and pills were seized in the raid.
The raid follows a 3-month covert surveillance operation targeting the suspect. Detectives from TM Eye India carried out surveillance on Murjee following successful covert test purchases by TM Eye’s Undercover Unit of a variety of life saving medicines. Murjee operated a small factory unit manufacturing and supplying tablets with no medicinal benefit in counterfeit bottles with labels purporting to be genuine medicines.
Murjee was charged with offences contrary to Section 51 and 63 Copyright Act 1957 and has been remanded in custody. He is due to appear at Bangalore Magistrates Court on 4th July 2018.
TM Eye Director David McKelvey said,”This was another outstanding success for TM Eye. I would like to thank the Indian police for their outstanding support. This was an extremely difficult deployment targeting a criminal engaged in a vast criminal operation selling medicines on a wholesale scale. many of these fake medicines would end up being sold to innocent and unknowing patients who would have taken them believing them to be genuine to treat serious illness. The fact is that these counterfeit tablets would be of no medicinal use.
These counterfeits are sold on the internet through various criminal sites and end up in the hands of the most vulnerable, those suffering from serious illness. The scale of the global trade in fake medicines is vast and is organised crime at the highest level. The profits are huge. TM Eye has been at the cutting edge of law enforcement tackling this global criminality head on.”