On 24th May 2019, Mohammed Qasim AWAN (date of birth 3/3/1992) appeared at Milton Keynes Magistrates Court charged with four offences of selling counterfeit goods and possessing them for sale, contrary to Section 92 of The Trademarks Act 1994. He pleaded guilty to all matters. AWAN was sentenced to 4 weeks custody suspended for two years for each offence to run consecutively. He was also required to undertake a total of 200 hours unpaid work. He was ordered to pay a contribution towards the prosecution investigation costs of £1,500. An order was made for forfeiture and destruction of the fake goods. The District Judge stated, “You came very close to going straight to prison today. Should you re offend there will be no second chance and you will go immediately to prison”.
The case was brought by TM Eye as a private criminal prosecution on behalf of its clients Pandora and another well known luxury goods brand. AWAN sold a wide variety of other counterfeit goods from other brands. These were not subject to any enforcement action.
The prosecution and conviction follows a 6 month covert investigation by TM Eye’s Luxury Goods Team supported by the Dedicated Undercover Unit and Surveillance Team.
On Saturday 3rd November 2018, an undercover TM Eye Investigator attended Wellesbourne Market, Warwickshire. Mohammed Qasim Awan, was evidenced selling fake goods. He had previously been prosecuted by TM Eye for trademark offences (Op 1049/15 refers) at Bovingdon Market in 2016. On 28th June 2016, Awan had appeared at Uxbridge Magistrates Court where he pleaded guilty to four trademark offences having been observed selling counterfeit goods at Bovingdon Market. He was sentenced to a 12 Month Community Order to include 100 hours unpaid work, £140.00 towards costs and £60.00 victim surcharge. Despite this conviction AWAN had moved to Wellesbourne Market and continued to offend. A series of covert test purchases were made from him at Wellesbourne market, all covertly filmed. This provided the evidence to prosecute and convict him.
TM Eye Director David Mckelvey said, “AWAN is a prolific offender who ignored the conviction and sentence in 2016 and continued to sell fake goods. TM Eye investigators visit every prolific market on a weekly basis and AWAN was quickly identified selling fake goods again. He was covertly filmed selling the counterfeit goods and prosecuted.
The court have imposed a custodial sentence although suspended and have told AWAN that should he re offend he will go straight to prison. TM Eye will monitor the open and online markets and should he be evidenced selling fake goods again that impact our clients we will immediately prosecute.
Criminals are very aware of TM Eye’s robust enforcement activities and deliberately avoid selling fake goods for the brands we represent choosing to sell those that do not take such action.”
AWAN will now have his fingerprints, photograph and DNA taken by police and his conviction recorded on the Police national Computer as a result of the ISA in place with the Association of Chief Police Officers Criminal records office (ACRO).