More than £500,000 of Counterfeit Goods Seized from Trocadero Tourist Shops
More than £500,000 worth of counterfeit goods – including teddy bears, football shirts and illegal condoms – were seized in a pre-Christmas raid in central London.
The crackdown targeted 10 stores in and around the famous Trocadero Centre in Piccadilly Circus.
Among the haul recovered from traders were fake Minions clothing, condoms emblazoned with an offensive slogan and unlicensed Hello Kitty toys.
The raids, carried out by Westminster City Council, Trading Standards, police and UK border agency staff, came after shoppers and tourists repeatedly complained about the price and legitimacy of goods sold in souvenir shops.
A council spokesman said: “We will not stand by and allow traders to flog fake goods, which rip off both honest retailers and the public.
“Our operation with the Met police and partners shows that Westminster’s Trading Standards team is serious about tackling this problem in the heart of London.
“Rogue traders should beware; we will seize your fake goods.”
Large quantities of business documents were also seized during the raids – dubbed Operation Canton – and one person suspected of being an illegal immigrant was arrested by the UK Border Agency officers.
Sergeant Paul Clooney, from Westminster police, said: “Counterfeiting is often thought of as a victimless crime but it can have devastating effects on local traders who are trying to legitimately sell goods.
“Customers end up buying items which are often of a poor and sometimes dangerous standard.
“This operation should deter others who think the West End is an easy place to sell counterfeit goods. We will continue to work with partners to target such individuals.