£15 million in counterfeit Xmas goods seized in UK

by JJP

counterfeit Beats by Dr. Dre headphones

Posted on Thursday, December 13, 2012


Nearly £15 million worth of counterfeit goods which would have ripped off the public and businesses have been seized in a single operation led in the UK by Staffordshire’s trading standards team.

The operation, carried out in partnership with Staffordshire Police, targeted a storage unit in Birmingham. Officers believe it could be the largest single seizure of counterfeit goods by a trading standards team anywhere in the country – filling seven removal vans. The operation was also supported by representatives from the Federation Against Copyright Theft and music industry organisation BPI (British Recorded Music Industry). It is thought that the counterfeit goods were destined for sale at the many Christmas Markets and Car Boot Sales held across the region during the run-up to Xmas.

Following seizures of counterfeit Beats by Dr Dre headphones at markets in Staffordshire, trading standards acted on intelligence provided after resulting publicity. It led them to the Birmingham storage unit and investigations are continuing. All of the goods, which also included counterfeit branded clothing, have been transferred to a secure unit in Staffordshire.

Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for communities Pat Corfield said: “Our trading standards officers and colleagues are confident they have smashed a major supply route in the manufacture and retail of counterfeit goods.

“The scale of this seizure is unprecedented and we believe it may be the biggest single seizure of counterfeit goods by a trading standards team anywhere in the country and certainly here in the Midlands.

“Officers were amazed at the size of the haul as they catalogued and recorded the goods before they were removed to a secure storage facility. The current estimate on the value of the goods seized is upwards of £10 million.

“This included hundreds of pairs of counterfeit Beats by Dr Dre headphones and fake branded clothing, which could have hit the streets in the run-up to Christmas and into 2013.

“The operation demonstrates our commitment to keeping people safe in Staffordshire and protecting legitimate business; however in this case we have worked with colleagues to make a positive impact with a far greater reach.

“This sends out a strong message to counterfeiters here and across the country that they will be pursued. The sale of counterfeit goods is sometimes overlooked as being a serious crime.”

Staffordshire County Council was contacted by Los Angeles-based Beats by Dr Dre for its ‘excellent operation.’

David Wood, BPI Director of Anti-Piracy added:“Music is a popular gift during the festive season and we are pleased that thousands of fake CDs, DVDs and Beats By Dr Dre headphones will not end up under the Christmas tree this year".


About Jeremy Plimmer

Jeremy Plimmer has 35 years of experience in the security related print and packaging industry working originally as sales development director for manufacturers of passports, high security print and labels and more recently as a consultant. He is a graduate member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, a Fellow of the Institute of Minerals, Materials and Mining, chairman of the West Midlands Packaging Society as well as vice chairman of the East Midlands Packaging Society.

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About the foundation

The Product & Image Security Foundation is a non-profit making trade association which was originally formed under the name of Label & Tag Security International (LTSI) in the early 1990's.

Today it operates with more than 100 members in 27 countries and is the premier international forum for manufacturers, suppliers and users of labels, tags, packaging, identification systems, materials and systems for any form of product security, brand image protection or product traceability applications and technology.