A joint operation between Hertfordshire Trading Standards and Hertfordshire Constabulary at Bovingdon Market led to what is believed to be the biggest ever seizure of counterfeit goods in the county.
The seizure of clothes, shoes and CDs was made from 11 stalls on Saturday (March 6). The fake brands being sold included High Street names such as Nike, Adidas, D&G, Fred Perry, DKNY, Ecko, Ed Hardy, Christian Audigier, True Religion, Ugg, Armani, Gucci, Dior, Levis, Moschino, and Prada. The items are still being counted, so the street value of the haul has yet to be estimated.
Stallholders will now be interviewed and face prosecution. Offenders face unlimited fines or up to 10 years in prison.
The seizure follows a similar operation in November, when more than 5,500 counterfeit CDs and DVDs were seized from three stalls at the market.
Keith Emsall, Executive Member for Community Safety and Culture, said: “Hertfordshire County Council’s Trading Standards Service see tackling intellectual property crime as a priority. Not only do consumers get ripped off, it also hurts legitimate local businesses – many of whom are already struggling in the current economic climate.
“It’s extremely disappointing that Bovingdon Market continues to be a source of illegal goods. We will continue to work with our partners to tackle the problems at the market and would like to thank the police for their assistance on Saturday.”
Sgt Tessa Barrow, of Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Hemel Neighbourhood team, said: “This was a tremendous effort between ourselves and trading standards to tackle the sale of counterfeit goods at Bovingdon market. Operations like this are conducted to protect the public and I would urge anyone who may have any suspicions about the sale of counterfeit goods to contact police on 0845 33 00 222, or alternatively Crimestoppers in confidence on 0800 555 111.”
Members of the public can also report sales of counterfeit goods to Consumer Direct on 08454 040506. Hertfordshire businesses needing advice should contact Hertfordshire Trading Standards’ business advice line on 01727 813849.
Surelock London Private Investigators worked closely with Hertfordshire Trading Standards gathering intelligence that identified the worst stalls and stall holders who were targeted on the day.