Two men Assad IFDIKHAL and Zafar IQBAL appeared at Manchester Magistrates Court on the 5th March 2019, charged with five offences each of selling counterfeit goods and possessing counterfeit goods for sale contrary to Section 92 of The Trademarks Act 1994. Both pleaded guilty to all matters.
IQBAL was sentenced to a 12 Month Community Order with a requirement to complete 80 Hours Unpaid Work and a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement (RAR). He was also ordered to pay prosecution costs of £100 and a victims surcharge of £85.00
IFDIKHAL was sentenced to a 12 Month Community Order with a requirement to undertake 60 Hours Unpaid Work. He was also ordered to pay prosecution costs of £100 and a victims surcharge of £85.00
The case was brought by TM Eye as a private criminal prosecution on behalf of its clients MULBERRY, JIMMY CHOO and HUGO BOSS.
The two men operated from a substantial first floor fortified warehouse in Great Ducie Street from where they sold vast quantities of fake goods from a wide variety of luxury goods brands. They used spotters with back to back radios to look out for law enforcement and guards on the door with electronic key fobs that operated steel shutters that would be closed in seconds if they anticipated a raid.
Detectives from the Dedicated Undercover Unit supported by the TM Eye Surveillance Team carried out a series of test purchases at the premises on the 27th and 28th March 2018, the 10th April 2018 and the 9th May 2018. Each test purchase was covertly filmed and provided the evidence to support the prosecution and convictions of both men.
On the 11th July 2018, Detectives from TM Eye supported by officers from Greater Manchester Police stopped IFDIKHAL and IQBAL in the street as they ran from the premises following a series of raids by GMP and TM Eye at other premises. Both men were spoken to and gave their correct details. IQBAL had a substantial amount of cash in his possession and claimed that he was a painter and decorator. He denied ever having been to the premises. The covert film footage proved otherwise.
TM Eye Director David Mckelvey said, “These two men operated a highly profitable and successful criminal enterprise from premises in Great Ducie Street. They had guards and spotters working for them and sold large amounts of fake goods with significant stock in the premises.
They were targeted as part of TM Eye’s Operation Mordor. TM Eye has prosecuted and convicted over 90 criminals operating in the area known as ‘Counterfeit Street’. It is having a significant impact on the open sale of our clients brands and many others.
The use of private criminal prosecutions works and has a deterrent effect. During recent raids in the area our detectives were asked to detail exactly what brands we represent so that the criminals involved in the area can avoid risking being prosecuted. In other prolific markets we have seen the availability of fake goods of brands that TM Eye protects cease completely.”