Sharez WASSEM appeared at Manchester Magistrates Court on the 23rd May 2019, charged with four offences of selling counterfeit goods and possessing counterfeit goods for sale contrary to Section 92 of The Trademarks Act 1994. He pleaded guilty to all matters. He was fined £120.00 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £380. An order for the destruction of all fake goods was made by the court.

The case was brought by TM Eye as a private criminal prosecution on behalf of Mulberry and another well known luxury goods brand.

WASSEM is an asylum seeker who operated from at least two premises in Great Ducie Street in the area of Strangeways, Manchester known as ‘Counterfeit Street’. He was the principal selling goods directly to the public in wholesale and retail quantities and was evidenced taking the money for the sales. The shops he ran had spotters on the street with electronic key fobs enabling them to close the electric steel shutters within seconds should they suspect police or TM Eye presence.

TM Eye Director David McKelvey said, “Although this is Wassem’s first offence we had seen and evidenced his involvement in at least two prolific criminal shops in the area of ‘Counterfeit Street’ since May 2018. He ran those shops and was in control of the money.

Substantive evidence was gathered by our Dedicated undercover Unit supported by the TM Eye Surveillance Team in extremely difficult and often dangerous circumstances.

The sentence is unusually lenient and unfortunate and does not send a deterrent for those in the area who make huge criminal profits from such criminality. We always highlight to the courts the significant criminal proceeds being made by criminals such as WASSEM.”

WASSEM now has a conviction recorded on the Police National Computer (PNC) and will have his fingerprints, photograph and DNA taken by police. The UK Border Agency have been informed of the conviction.