A pair of traders who sold £90,000 worth of dangerous counterfeit electrical goods on eBay have been given suspended prison sentences following an investigation by Redbridge Council Trading Standards and the National Trading Standards Tri-Regional Investigation Team.
Amjad Iqbal (48) of Pittman Gardens, Ilford, was sentenced to 22 months, suspended for 24 months, at Snaresbrook Crown Court on 21 July. He had previously pleaded guilty in March to offences against the Trade Marks Act 1994 which involved selling counterfeit goods on eBay and possessing counterfeit goods bearing the Samsung and Apple Trade Marks. Dilshad Ullah (51), of Hodge Street, Manchester, was sentenced to seven months, suspended for 14 months, after pleading guilty to possessing counterfeit goods.
Iqbal and Ullah came to the attention of Trading Standards following a complaint in 2019 about counterfeit phone and tablet chargers being sold on eBay. Although the seller seemed to be based in Birmingham, test purchases revealed the goods were being distributed from Iqbal’s premises on Goodmayes Road in Ilford, east London.
Following a raid on the shop later that year, Trading Standards seized 95 bags of counterfeit goods from the property. Subsequent safety tests revealed the items posed a high risk of electric shock and presented a fire hazard.
Ullah, who had strong financial connections to Iqbal, was found to be in sole charge of the shop, where boxes of unbranded chargers with branded labels waiting to be attached were also found.
Councillor Jas Athwal, Leader of Redbridge Council, said: “Today’s sentencing should serve as a stark reminder to those who think they can gain financially at the expense of people’s safety.
“We must remember fake illegal products of this nature are unregulated, untested and quite frankly, they can be very dangerous. They expose people to all manner of health and safety risks, including fire and electrocution.
“This is an excellent example of partnership working between our Trading Standards team and colleagues in the national and regional teams. Their hard work, perseverance and tenacity have been vital in helping build a solid and compelling case against these cowboy traders.
“Redbridge is one of the safest outer London boroughs, and we will continue investing in keeping all forms of crime down whilst ensuring the borough remains the best place to live, work, and visit.”
Trish Burls, Chair of the NTS Tri-Regional Investigation Team, said: “Buying fake electrical goods can seem like a harmless way to get the technology you need for less, but counterfeiting is not a victimless crime.
“Aside from being poor quality, fake electrical goods can pose serious dangers, with the goods seized during this investigation found to have high-risk electrical safety failures, putting consumers at risk of electrocution and fire.
“This joint investigation is yet another great example of collaboration and partnership working between our regional team and Trading Standards officers from the London Borough of Redbridge. Together, these officers worked tirelessly to track the defendants down and remove a substantial number of dangerous products from sale to protect consumers and legitimate businesses.
“The sentences handed down today should act as a warning to others that selling counterfeit electrical goods is illegal and there are consequences to engaging in this dangerous trade.”