Officers from Newcastle Trading Standards have seized hundreds of fake football strips following a discovery at Newcastle International Airport.
The total retail value of the fakes, which include Newcastle, Rangers, Liverpool and Real Madrid strips, has been estimated at more than £20,000.
Trading Standards Officers initially intercepted 113 fake Newcastle strips during a random freight inspection at the airport. The strips were found in boxes which were to be delivered to an address in the west of the city. Upon calling at the address, Officers found a further 140 counterfeit strips.
The bogus strips were to be sold on social media for £25 each, giving them a street value of £7,500 and an equivalent retail value of more than £20,000.
Newcastle City Council Cabinet member for Regulation, Cllr Irim Ali, said: “I’d like to congratulate our trading standards team for finding and seizing this haul of illegal merchandise.
“Fake goods may be tempting as they cost less than the real thing, but they are very often inferior in quality and may be unsafe and dangerous. Of course, they also don’t come with any after-sales service or guarantees.
“The fake goods industry is not victimless crime. Organised crime gangs monopolise the trade in counterfeit goods. In other words, if you buy fake goods, it can be the final link in a chain that profits criminals who can be involved in various crimes.
“And criminals are going to make the product as quickly and cheaply as they can, with low quality and potentially dangerous materials and ingredients. All they are interested in is maximising their profits.”