A Kent County Council Trading Standards raid of a car boot sale has resulted in the seizure of 1,579 counterfeit goods.
Officers from KCC, supported by Kent Police and representatives of the Anti-Counterfeiting Group (ACG), visited the event at Pedham Place, Swanley, on 24 July. They discovered stallholders selling counterfeit and potentially dangerous items including illicit tobacco, clothing, sunglasses and watches.
According to KCC Trading Standards Operations Manager Clive Phillips, “The sale of counterfeit products undermines local legitimate businesses and will not be tolerated.
“Counterfeit products are inferior in quality and do not conform to strict consumer safety standards. It is well documented that in many cases the money made from the sale of fake goods helps to fund organised criminal gangs.
“We will continue to work in partnership with Kent Police and trade mark representatives in cracking down on this illegal activity.”
Graham Mogg, Intelligence Coordinator at the ACG, said: ‘’The sale of counterfeit goods is often viewed as a low-level crime, but in reality, those that sell counterfeit goods are undermining legitimate businesses and placing consumers at risk of harm from inferior products.’’
“Those involved in this illicit trade do not pay taxes and take much needed revenue from vital public services. This activity also funds other more mainstream criminality such as drug trafficking and money laundering.
“The ACG and the National Markets Group for intellectual property protection, applaud the action taken by Kent Trading Standards and Police at the market and we will continue to support them to ensure that consumers and legitimate traders are protected.’’