Global Investigators & Security Consultants
0333 6000 300
Calls are charged at local rate

Blog

Fake Cosmetics Worth £100 Million Seized by Police in China

  • 8:25 pm
  • 0. comments
  • Fake cosmetics estimated to be worth almost £100 million – including products packaged to look like the famous brands Chanel, Christian Dior and Estée Lauder – have been seized in a wide-ranging swoop in China.

    Police in China’s eastern Taizhou city discovered the products in 1,200 boxes, found during seven raids earlier this month, authorities said late on Wednesday, in social media posts.

    The operation has seen 15 suspects being detained, 13 of which have already been charged by prosecutors.

    Police started hunting the gang behind the fake cosmetics after they were made aware of a counterfeit toothpaste being sold online a year ago, state news agency Xinhua said.

    In an effort to ensure that grievances did not go further, the gang offered instant refunds to anyone who complained about the products.

    Xinhua said the syndicate had distributed products throughout China and that this month’s haul had a street value of 827 million yuan (£96m).

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/02/16/100m-worth-fake-cosmetics-seized-china-police

     

    read more
    by dave

Peterborough Car Boot Trader Sentenced for Fake Goods

  • 12:15 pm
  • 0. comments
  • A man has been sentenced to 100 hours community service after pleading guilty to selling thousands of pounds worth of fake designer goods at the Peterborough weekly ‘Bizzy Boot’ sale.

    Mohammed Imran Malik had admitted to seven offences under the Trade Marks Act 1994 relating to the sale and supply of counterfeit items at the Wellington Street car park weekly car boot sale.

    The sentencing on Tuesday (7 February) at Peterborough Crown Court follows an investigation by Peterborough City Council trading standards officers in July last year. This led to the seizure of around £12,000 worth of counterfeit items including Nike trainers, Dior perfumes, Lacoste polo shirts and Ralph Lauren polo shirts.

    The city council is now seeking a Proceeds of Crime Award against Malik, 26, of Star Road, Peterborough which will review the financial aspects of the case and could result in the dissemination of any proceeds between the police and council.

    sh3
    Mr Malik selling fake designer goods at the Bizzy Boot sale

     

    All counterfeit clothing is being passed to the Police National Aid Convoy to use in their work delivering emergency aid to disaster areas throughout the world.

    Councillor Irene Walsh, cabinet member for communities and environmental capital, said: “This investigation is a great example of joint working by Peterborough City Council and the local community and we will continue to work with the public, brand holders, local traders and our enforcement partners to ensure that we stamp out these illegal ‘business practices’.

    “The sale of fake goods is not only damaging to the brand owners, but also to the legitimate Peterborough businesses who are trading fairly but being undercut by those who think it is fine to sell counterfeit goods.”

    A spokesman for Surelock Brand Protection Services, brand protection representatives for a number of household companies, said: “People should be aware that by purchasing counterfeit goods you are receiving an inferior quality product, each sale has a detrimental effect on the livelihoods of genuine local traders and you are also helping fund criminal organisations. We applaud the actions of Peterborough Trading Standards in clamping down on the sale of goods which infringe intellectual property rights.”

    Residents who have information on counterfeiting activity within Peterborough can call Citizens Advice on 03454 040506 on can pass on details by emailing Trading Standards.

    read more
    by dave

We Have Been Granted Corporate Membership of ABI, The Association of British Investigators

  • 3:59 pm
  • 0. comments
  • orporate Members of ABI
    Proud Corporate Members of ABI

    We are proud to announce that we have been granted Corporate membership of The Association of British Investigators. This means so much to us as it is further recognition of how we continually strive for excellence, the highest level of professionalism and ethical standing.

    This achievement complements other memberships of the Surelock team, which include the Association of Security Consultants (ASC), the Institute of Counter Fraud Specialists (ICFS), the Ex-Police in Industry and Commerce Integrity Assured (EPIC) and the Institute of Professional Investigators (IPI).

    View our certificate.

    About the ABI

    With origins dating back to 1913, the Association of British Investigators is now recognised as the premiere professional body for private investigators working in the United Kingdom. Throughout its long history, the ABI has worked hard to improve the standing and reputation of the investigative professional.

    read more
    by Phil

Jilly Saward

  • 8:34 pm
  • 0. comments
  • Roy Herridge QPM is a Director and founder of Surelock and a former Detective Superintendent with the Metropolitan Police.  He was the Senior Investigating Officer for the Jilly Saward case.

     

    “It is with great regret and sadness that I heard of the sad and untimely death of Jilly Saward and we express our sympathy on behalf of the team that dealt with the investigation into the Ealing Vicarage Rape.

     

    Jilly impressed us all with her courage and bravery at the time and subsequently in the way she dealt with her trauma by helping others and starting the charity, Women in Crisis.  She will be sadly missed by all who were privileged to know her and her family.”

    Roy Herridge QPM Ex Detective Superintendent retired and all the detectives who investigated the Ealing Vicarage Rape

    Following this investigation and subsequent convictions Roy Herridge wrote a book “Believe No One” incorporating this investigation and others he had dealt with.   The full proceeds of this book have been donated to Women in Crisis.

     https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/Books/Believe-No-One-Roy-Herridge/0316905631

    read more
    by dave

Bizarre Stories of Infidelity

  • 4:13 pm
  • 0. comments
  • lipstick on collar - sign of infidelityEverybody likes to believe that their partner would never cheat on them, and that it’s a scenario that they’re only going to encounter in films like What’s New Pussycat and Lady Chatterley’s Lover. But in reality, a substantial number of couples will experience one or both partners cheating. According to a recent survey, Thailand and Denmark boast the dubious achievement of being the most adulterous countries in the world (surprisingly, they’re above the famously faithless Italians and French). But in spite of its frequency, adultery isn’t always mundane, and there are some extraordinary true stories of extramarital shenanigans that will astonish you!

    Caught out by Pokémon Go

    The most popular craze of 2016 had to be Pokemon Go, a hunt that had people of all ages out and about attempting to capture these digital creatures. But this apparently innocuous pursuit had unforeseen consequences for New Yorker Evan Scribner, when his current girlfriend spotted that her cheating partner had been hunting Pokemon at her predecessor’s house – somewhere he had no good reason to be. The problem for Evan is that Pokemon Go keeps track of your movements; smartphones and technology may have enabled many adulterers to get away with infidelity, but it also makes them a good deal easier to track. So even an apparently innocent pastime like hunting Pokemon could provide partners with a massive clue as to what their other half’s have been up to!

    Watch the Birdie

    But it’s not just technology that can give people away; the family pet can inadvertently drop cheater’s deep in trouble as well. A Kuwaiti husband was outed as unfaithful thanks to the verbal skills of his pet parrot, who repeated romantic phrases the man had used to the couple’s housemaid. The married lothario had forgotten that in his country, adultery is against the law, and he could have faced serious punishment. Fortunately for him, the bird was not considered a credible witness, as it could not be proven that the man was the source of the amorous vocabulary (it was considered a possibility that the bird may have learned the phrases from listening to TV shows). But it’s fair to assume that even the law let him off, his wife did not – and that the maid found herself out of a job.

    Virtual Unreality

    The “other person” in an adulterous relationship isn’t always a person, however. It can be a pet that one partner cares more about, a hobby that they devote all their time to – or even a video game. One wife may have thought that she was giving her husband a thoughtful gift when she presented him with World of Warcraft, but she soon discovered what many other partners have found out – that the game can quickly become addictive. Her husband became so involved with playing WoW that he stopped spending time and energy on his marriage, and the marriage was over long before the game was. One wonders if she ended up demanding custody of the game just to spite him …

    Cheating Marathon

    Sometimes, the surprise is not that someone was unfaithful, but the number of times they played away from home. After all, the more one cheats, the greater the likelihood of being discovered. One British man clocked up a massive 23 affairs over two decades of marriage, the first time being when his wife was expecting their first child. Astonishingly, when she finally found out about his cheating and the number of women he had slept with, she chose to forgive him and work on their marriage. For most of us, once could possibly be forgiven, but cheating with at least 23 women (indeed, this particular man wasn’t entirely unsure that there weren’t more) is 22 women too many.

    Aliens in the Attic

    Adultery, of course, has been going on since marriage was invented, and although you may conveniently forget that your parents’ or grandparents’ generation ever enjoyed a sex life that quite clearly isn’t true. And in the 1930s, one woman in the US went to extraordinary lengths to indulge her adulterous desires. To compensate for her unsatisfactory marriage, she installed her lover in the attic of the marital home so that she could keep him close by. Her thinking was that as her husband never went up there, she could indulge her desires whenever she wished. She even insisted that when they moved, they chose a new house with an attic, so that she could pack her lover along with the furniture. The liaison ended tragically after a number of successful years of subterfuge, when the lover shot the husband dead during a violent row between husband and wife. Indeed, the unfaithful woman’s claim that he was murdered by a burglar was initially accepted, though eventually she made mistakes that implicated her and her lover in the murder. However, as by then too many years had passed, both partners went free.

    Crime Doesn’t Pay

    Modern lovers often choose to record a home tape of their activities as a way of reliving the fun. However, these recordings can easily be shared and posted online on sites like Pornhub, leading many to regret ever making them. It also creates a risk of being blackmailed in order to keep the videos secret. A Houston woman stumbled across a tape made by her husband and his lover, and promptly threatened him with exposing the tape to his employers and his lover’s husband if he didn’t pay her a substantial sum. Once she received the money, however, she didn’t keep her side of the bargain, and responded by handing over the tape to the other woman’s husband as well as to her own husband’s employers (a Christian high school who would presumably take a dim view of his extramarital escapades). The result was the end of the marriage, and misdemeanour charges for the aggrieved wife.

    Hidden in Plain Sight

    Some adulterers choose to hide their activities in plain sight, and go to great lengths to convince their spouse that he or she is imagining their suspicions. They manipulate their partner so that they begin to mistrust their own feelings and make them think that they are really the one at fault for being suspicious. They accuse the innocent partner of not trusting them, and make every effort to place the blame on them for any problems in the marriage. This behaviour is called ‘gaslighting’ after the 1944 film with Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer, in which a husband guilty of murder tries to convince his wife that she is insane. Such tactics are psychological manipulation, and often succeed in making the innocent party feel that they are the one at fault.

    The sad fact is that if you feel suspicious of your partner, there is usually very good reason why you feel that way. It’s wise to listen to your instincts and trust your feelings. You may choose to investigate your suspicions, though you should always be prepared for an outcome you don’t want to deal with – that your suspicions have a good foundation. But it is to be hoped that if you discover the worst, at least you won’t experience a story like these bizarre tales of adultery.

    Advice if you have any Suspicions

    Surelock have a number of dedicated and experienced surveillance teams strategically placed all over UK, and have undertaken numerous infidelity cases, where the cheating partner has been observed meeting another person. We covertly video record and complete a detailed log of the observation, which is evidenced and supplied to the client or the lawyer acting on their behalf. This evidence can be given in court or any other proceedings. Where a partner has suspicions and referred a case to us, over 95% of these cases have proved to substantiate their original fears. If you would like to discuss any suspicions in confidence please do not hesitate to call our office and speak to a member of our staff and we can advise you on a course of action.

    read more
    by Phil

Now Grey Goods Are Not So Grey

  • 7:44 am
  • 0. comments
  • The recent Court of Appeal decision in R v C and Others [2016] EWCA Crim 1617 has confirmed that sale of grey goods can be met by criminal sanctions under Section 92 of the Trade Marks Act 1994 (‘the Act’), which can amount to a maximum of 10 years imprisonment.

    Grey goods are goods to which a trade mark proprietor has authorised the application of their trade mark, but has not authorised the subsequent disposition of those marked goods. Examples of how this may arise are provided in the judgment and include, where goods had been part of an order placed with an authorised manufacturer by the trade mark proprietor but then cancelled; part of a batch of goods whose manufacture had been authorised but were subsequently rejected as not being of sufficient standard; or goods manufactured, pursuant to order, with authority but in excess amount.  The issue of grey goods and their interaction with their supply chains is often of particular concern to retailers.

    In this case it appears that the offending goods consisted of a mixture of genuine grey goods and counterfeit products, all sourced from outside the European Economic Area (‘EEA’). This is a common scenario faced by many brand owners and the question was whether all these classes of goods could fall within the provisions of s. 92 of the Act. The decision was in favour of trade mark proprietors, based on three factors: (1) the wording of Section 92; (2) earlier legal authority; (3) public policy.

    The decision is of importance because it provides brand owners with an additional means whereby they can control their supply chain with respect to grey goods. Given that these acts can be deemed as falling under the criminal provisions of the Act, brand owners can now encourage Trading Standards to take enforcement action or launch private prosecutions under the Act. The decision also raises the issue that parallel importation from outside the EEA, and following BREXIT, outside the UK, might be deemed a criminal act – a prospect some retailers and brand owners might view with glee, but others with fear.

    For more information: http://www.hgf.com/updates/news/2016/11/grey-goods-are-not-so-grey-anymore-court-of-appeal-confirms-sale-of-%E2%80%98grey-goods-capable-of-being-deemed-a-criminal-offence-/

    read more
    by dave

For the First Time Amazon.com Takes Counterfeiters to Court

  • 7:30 am
  • 0. comments
  • Amazon in the US has filed lawsuits against counterfeit sellers, after a number of businesses on Amazon protested that knockoffs were killing their sales and endangering consumers.

    Amazon filed suit against a group of sellers for infringing on athletic training equipment developed by TRX. In a second case, Amazon sued sellers who are offering fake versions of a patented moving product called Forearm Forklift.

    Both suits were filed in the Superior Court of the State of Washington in King County. In the TRX suit, Fitness Anywhere, the creator of the training equipment, joined Amazon as a plaintiff.

    Amazon is the lone plaintiff in the case involving Forearm Forklift. The company claims that in addition to selling fake versions of patented products, the “defendants tried to further their fraudulent scheme by submitting forged invoices to Amazon purporting to show that their products were authentic.”

    For the full story: http://www.cnbc.com/2016/11/15/amazon-takes-counterfeit-sellers-to-court-for-first-time.html?utm_content=buffer4115c&utm_medium=social&utm_source=linkedin.com&utm_campaign=buffer

    read more
    by dave

Counterfeit Banknotes

  • 7:00 am
  • 0. comments
  • counterfeit

    This is a message sent via In The Know – Surrey and Sussex. This information has been sent on behalf of Surrey Police 

    Over the last few days we have had several reports of three smartly dressed men in suits trying to pass off fake £50 and £100 notes, believed Scottish counterfeit notes. They go into a shop and buy a small item with the note. We have had reports at Caterham, Nutfield and Redhill. Please be very wary of people using large denomination notes to buy small items.

    Consider the following best practice…..

    Buy an electronic bank note checker.

    Use a counterfeit pen.

    Put a note by your till saying “All notes will be checked to verify they are not counterfeit”.

    You may also adopt a store policy to not accept large currency notes.

    Further useful information can be sort from www.bankofengland.co.uk

     

    If you believe people have used counterfeit money please let Surrey Police know on 101. If the person or people are still in the store or the town please call us on 999.

    bucks-surrey-ts Bucks and Surrey Trading Standards

    Trading Standards Business Advice

     

    read more
    by dave

Police seize £7m of Fakes in Scotland and Warn of the Link to Organised Crime

  • 8:45 am
  • 0. comments
  • It was announced that counterfeit goods valued at around £7 million were seized by police in Scotland last year as Justice Secretary Michael Matheson launched the Government’s report into Scotland’s gangs.

    Officers made nearly 3,000 arrests of people known to be involved in serious organised crime.

    According to the report the most common business types are licensed premises, restaurants, building and construction companies, taxis and nail bars.

    More than two thirds of the gangs operate on the west coast, just 22 per cent are based in the East and 11 per cent in the North. Sixty-seven per cent Scotland’s gangs are funded by drug crime, the report says, with cocaine the biggest seller.

    The report also says the Government took £9m off individuals and companies involved in criminal activity in the last 12 months, taking the total seized through proceeds of crime legislation in the 14 years it’s been in operation to more than £100m.

    Matheson said: “Tackling organised crime is about much more than police raids and court trials. We need to work collectively, in our communities to tackle the harm caused by serious organised crime, to stop the cycle of deprivation and, crucially, give those involved in these activities the chance to turn their lives around. With the right education we can prevent people, including our young people, from being recruited into a life of crime.”

    New Lord Advocate James Wolffe QC, warned shoppers to be wary of buying fakes: “The public should be aware that counterfeit goods are often the product of serious organised crime and that by buying such goods you could be funding groups who deal in drugs and human trafficking. And if you buy goods which you know to be stolen then you could also be prosecuted under the Proceeds of Crime Act.”

    For the full story http://www.thenational.scot/news/public-warned-over-underworld-links-as-police-seize-7m-of-counterfeit-goods.24385

    read more
    by dave

Checks and actions that companies can make for themselves to mitigate risk and prior to a more extensive internal audit

  • 2:53 pm
  • 0. comments
  • Security Checks Companies can make for themselvesHow to assess the safety and security of your company

    In this article we will examine how your organisation can mitigate risks by regularly carrying out essential security and safety checks.

    We will consider:

    • Why is it important to review the security and safety of your organisation?

    • How to carry out a security check.

    • What are the common risks and threats that you should check and consider?

    • What are the specific threats and risks for your organisation?

    • How you can control and manage risks.

    • How often should you review your facilities, procedures and policies?

    • What are the benefits of employing a security consultant to carry out an external audit?


    Why should you carry out a security and safety survey?

    The ultimate purpose of undertaking a security survey is to determine the most cost-effective and practical ways to protect your assets: your people, property and information.

    Imagine an onion. At the core of the onion is your business or organisation– containing all of your assets (property, people and information). All of the things that are essential to your operation are in the centre of this onion, beneath many protective layers. If you think of your organisation as being like an onion, then the more layers of security protection around your core business, then the more secure and safe you are likely to be.

    Of course, the threats and opportunities for criminals or competitors to cause damage to your organisation have always existed. However, in the technological world of the twenty-first century, crime happens both in the real world as well as online, in the virtual world of the Internet. By taking these steps to review and check security, you are reducing the risk of becoming a victim of crime.

    How do I carry out a security check?

    You can perform many of the simple checks yourself: This article contains useful information and key questions to help you review your company’s security practice and procedures. In order to carry out an effective survey, we recommend that you:

    Do not pre-announce or publicise when or where you will be carrying out a security or safety check. If your staff know when it is, then they are likely to deviate from their ‘normal bad habits’ – whereas an unannounced inspection will instantly identify any processes or policies that expose weaknesses or risks to your business. Remember, their safety and security is one of the reasons why you are carrying out this review.

    • Have floor plans and site diagrams labelled with control systems to help you identify current and potential security and safety risks. By using the plan you will be able to identify the profile of each building, number each door and be able to carry out regular checks.

    • Work systematically and thoroughly, using the guide below to help you. You have to ‘think like a criminal’ and spot existing and potential risks and weaknesses in your organisation.

    • It is recommended that you record your findings and create an action plan. This plan will state the issue and the safety and security measures and procedures you have installed to mitigate risk.

    What are the common risks and threats that you should check and consider?

    When you review the security of your organisational assets (property, people and information), you need to consider how you control and manage risks:

    • Fixed assets – property, physical assets (e.g. office equipment & specialist products/machines – depending on the nature of your business).

    • Technological assets – computer systems and servers, storage of information and data (both physical systems and data backup/cloud based storage).

    • Staff assets – What appropriate action do you take to safeguard your assets, when employees leave your company?

    • As you perform your security and safety checks, review your organisation’s provision, processes and policies.

    Below, we have listed the simple things you can check for potential weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

    Premises

    • Are fences, walls, security and locks on windows and doors secure?

    • Can perimeters be scaled or breached?

    • Are the CCTV cameras in good working order?

    • Who is responsible for the maintenance of security systems in your organisation?

    • Are the alarm systems working?

    • Are CCTV cameras and alarm systems serviced and tested regularly?

    • Where is this information recorded?

    • How easy is it for visitors to access your premises?

    • Are staff vigilant? Do they know how to report risks?

    • Are visitors challenged by staff and asked to sign visitor book and show ID?

    Policies and Procedures

    • Do you have an effective passcode / key policy in place (for locks)?

    • Do you change electronic door entry codes regularly?

    • If using locks with physical keys, how effectively does your key usage policy work in action?

    • Are physical (and virtual) keys stored securely?

    • What controls are in place and fully working with respect to access to restricted access areas (e.g. mail rooms and server rooms)?

    • How effective is staff induction and training?

    • Are staff aware of their security responsibilities (e.g. they have to wear IDs at all times)?


    Staff

    • Are staff following security policies?

    • Do staff pose security risks such as holding doors open to strangers and lending their passes to others?

    • Do staff know how to report security issues?

    • Are security staff trained?

    • How do you monitor their job performance?

    • Is CCTV monitored at all times?

    • What happens when they spot a potential risk?

    • How do you vet staff and ensure you are employing the right people?


    Technology

    • How do you back up electronic data?

    • Is it on site?

    • Are back ups stored separately from main data? Where? How?

    • How effective are the security arrangements to protect servers?

    • Who is responsible?

    • How often you make adequate backups (so you can recover critical data or information, if it is damaged or stolen.

    • How well are you protected against Viruses, Malware or Ransomware?

    What are the specific threats and risks for your organisation?

    It is impossible to list all of the risks for every organisation: that is why employing an independent security consultant to review your organisation’s security and safety is a worthwhile investment. But there are some simple things you can control and manage to mitigate your risk, and reduce the chance of becoming a victim of crime.

    How can you control and manage safety and security risks?

    Any response to minimising risk should be both consistent and appropriate. Companies, who excel in mitigating risk, plan a sufficient budget to allocate to risk prevention. They review their policies and practices regularly:

    • A senior member of staff is appointed as ‘Security Liaison Manager’, and is responsible for resolving any security issue as soon as is practically possible. All staff are responsible for spotting and reporting security lapses or issues to this manager.

    • A strict policy is in place for Key holders and access arrangements.

    • The company belongs to a Business Watch scheme.

    • You should create a security register, where you can record:

      • Your assessment findings;

      • Details of any security systems already in place;

      • Alarm systems;

      • List of the key holders;

      • A plan of the premises, labelled with building and door numbers;

      • Your security action plan, detailing what needs to be addressed, when, who is responsible, the allocated budget and the timeframe.

    How often should you review your facilities, procedures and policies?

    These simple checks can be completed once a month. In practice, most companies perform these checks four times a year, but it all depends on the particular risks associated with your organisation such as your physical location and surroundings and the nature of your business. A security consultant will be able to advise you on the best course of action.

    What are the benefits of employing a security consultant to carry out an external audit?

    Whilst this article focused on the simple checks you can make yourself, we recommend that you appoint one of our trusted security consultants to independently assess and check security in your organization. They will expertly advise you on how to mitigate risk, based on your organisation’s unique circumstances and the specific risks you face. However, as we have explained, there are many simple checks that you can do yourself to keep your company safe and secure.

    read more
    by Phil