Cheshire East Council’s trading standards officers are warning shoppers to be on their guard after they seized counterfeit goods aimed at the Christmas and New Year spending spree.
This month, they raided a shop in Alsager and took away fake perfumes, children’s character toys, make-up, jewellery, sunglasses, handbags and electrical goods including headphones.
Meanwhile, counterfeit car parts and accessories for marques including BMW, Audi, Land Rover, Mini and Jaguar were seized at a house in Crewe.
Trading standards say fakes are not the bargains they seem. For example:
- Counterfeit make-up can contain lead, copper, mercury, arsenic or cadmium and can cause swelling, rashes and poisoning;
- Fake alcohol can contain methanol, antifreeze and fuel, causing nausea, stomach pains, kidney or liver problems, coma or death;
- Unofficial children’s merchandise such as toys and dressing-up clothes could pose numerous hazards with small loose parts, long cords and materials that are toxic or do not conform to fire retardant standards;
- Poor quality and missing components in fake electrical goods and chargers can lead to electric shocks, fires and explosions.
Councillor Les Gilbert, Cheshire East’s Cabinet member for localism and enforcement, said:
“Counterfeiting operations cut corners so their products are likely to be poor quality, with significantly shorter lifespans than those from legitimate businesses. As they do not meet required safety standards, they also put users at risk.
“Profits from counterfeiting are used by organised crime groups to fund other criminal activities, including the drugs trade and illegal immigration.”
Intellectual property crime and counterfeiting cost the UK’s legitimate businesses at least £90m every year. Possessing, offering for sale or selling counterfeit goods, or using registered trademarks on labelling or packaging without consent, can carry up to 10 years’ imprisonment.
Source: Cheshire East Council