Zameer AZAM who originally gave the false name Zahir ABBAS, who resides in Queens Road, Cheetham Hill, Manchester, appeared at Manchester Magistrates Court today charged with four (4) 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 sentenced to a 12-Month Community Order with a requirement to undertake 80 Hours Unpaid Work. He was also ordered to pay a contribution towards investigation prosecution costs of £4,000 and a £90 Victims Surcharge.
The case was brought by TM Eye as a private criminal prosecution on behalf of its client Hugo Boss.
AZAM operated a shop in Harris Street, Strangeways, Manchester in the area known as ‘Counterfeit Street’. He sold a wide variety of fake goods from luxury goods brands including; Michael Kors, Gucci, Chanel, Nike, Adidas, SuperDry and many others. No enforcement action was taken on behalf of these brands at their request.
The conviction follows Phase 8 of TM Eye’s Operation Mordor set up to tackle organised crime in and around the Strangeways area of Manchester. The area is well known for open criminality and the sale of counterfeit goods and supplies most of the UK. AZAM operated a large criminal shop with ‘spotters’ on the door and in the street. The spotters had an electronic key fob to close the steel shutter in the event of TM Eye or police activity. The investigation was undertaken by the TM Eye Illicit Luxury Goods Team supported by the Dedicated Undercover Unit and its Surveillance Team. Covert test purchases were made on 20th July 2019, 23rd July 2019 and the 30th July 2019. Each test purchase was covertly recorded on film and formed the evidence leading to the conviction.
TM Eye works closely with Greater Manchester Police to gather best evidence and has privately prosecuted over 100 criminals operating in the area over the past 3 years. Manchester City Council have secured Closure Orders and re possessions on the back of the TM Eye convictions. All those convicted have their convictions recorded on the Police National Computer (PNC) and have their fingerprints photographs and DNA taken for police indices. Every conviction is shared with the UK Border Agency and Inland Revenue. There have been recent deputations following TM Eye convictions.
TM Eye Director David McKelvey said,“Counterfeit Street is a prolific area for the sale of fake goods and causes significant damage to British and European companies, it impacts on jobs and is directly linked to Human Slavery and Trafficking. The criminal proceeds are used to support terrorism, serious and organised crime and drug offences.
TM Eye have seen significant success in the area through working in close partnership with Greater Manchester Police and the area of crime has been reduced significantly. Clearly coming up to Christmas the crime will again increase. TM Eye will continue to ‘catch and convict’ anyone committing criminal offences that impact on our clients brands”.