Trading Standards enforcement officers recently seized and detained a substantial quantity of counterfeit goods in the Island.
The goods were initially found by the Police making routine enquiries and included items of clothing, footwear, blankets, handbags, purses and headsets. They were being passed off as being the genuine article with well known designer labels and brands being targeted. These included The North Face, Jack Wills, Superdry, Polo Ralph Lauren, UGG, Louis Vuitton, Emporio Armani, Calvin Klein, Juicy Couture, Stone Island, Gucci, Chanel and Beats by Dr Dre.
An individual from the UK has subsequently admitted that the goods were his and accepted a formal caution. All of the goods will now be destroyed unless any of them can be disposed of to a charitable cause.
The OFT will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action with respect to counterfeit goods to prevent dangerous or shoddy goods being sold to unwitting consumers and to protect genuine businesses.
John Peet, Chief Inspector of Trading Standards said:
“Anyone, including individuals operating online from their homes, who believes that they can get away with selling counterfeit goods in the Island may be in for a nasty shock. If found guilty of selling counterfeit goods or of being in possession of such goods for sale, they would be liable to a substantial fine and/or a lengthy prison sentence. I suspect that most individuals who take a chance and make use of social media, online auctions and online classifieds to sell small quantities of counterfeit goods are almost certainly blissfully unaware of the fact they could be being monitored by enforcement agencies.”
Mr David Quirk MHK, Chairman of the OFT said:
“Counterfeit goods pose a threat to local traders who cannot afford to supply the genuine article at the same low prices. Shops will close if local traders are unable to maintain their businesses and this will mean less choice for local consumers. Consumers who unwittingly purchase counterfeit goods will often find that they are very shoddy and, more worryingly, there are many instances of counterfeit goods posing significant safety risks.”