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Winners of the ACG Awards for Excellence in Anti-Counterfeiting 2018

06 June 2018

Today, World Anti-Counterfeiting Day, the Anti-Counterfeiting Group (ACG) has announced the winners of this year’s ACG Awards for Excellence in Anti-Counterfeiting.

The awards were introduced by ACG in 1994 in order to recognise some of excellent enforcement work that is happening in the fight against the trade in counterfeit goods.

Candidates are nominated for three different categories; individual, department and special commendation and an awards panel of ACG members determine the worthy winners.

Alison Statham, ACG Director General, commented: “Tens of thousands of counterfeit goods including; electrical products such as chargers and batteries, household goods, toys, luxury goods and accessories are entering the UK every year. Enforcement bodies have demonstrated some of the very best enforcement work in tackling this illicit crime and ACG want to celebrate those individuals and teams involved.

Congratulations to our worthy winners, who represent Trading Standards, Police, Border Force, HMRC and other enforcement agencies in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland.”

The ACG Awards 2018 winners are: Dave Hankinson Memorial Award for Individual Excellence in Anti-Counterfeiting Enforcement

Winner: Tariq Mohammed (Birmingham City Council Trading Standards)

Tariq is a proactive and prolific Trading Standards officer. His recent work at Birmingham Trading Standards has seen him actively seek out high level information on a range of retail and wholesale counterfeiters. In addition, working at Ealing Trading Standards Tariq has taken direct action against further wholesale traders of counterfeit and often unsafe counterfeits. All of these activities have led to the seizure of large quantities of counterfeit goods and resulted in a number of prosecutions.

Highly Commended: Craig Ashton (Knowsley Council, Trading Standards)

In 2014, an investigation began into a number of 'legitimate' businesses in and around the Knowsley area, who were manufacturing and supplying counterfeit car mats. A number of local authority areas were affected and this illicit trade was amassing a huge criminal gain of almost £1 million. Craig’s meticulous work culminated in several raids at commercial properties and the seizure of thousands of counterfeit products impacting on many automotive brands, including ACG members. Two directors and a limited company were charged with offences under the Trademarks Act, 1994, Money Laundering and Consumer Rights Act offences. The defendants pleaded guilty to 49 counts, based on the strength of evidence and were fined £69,000 together with confiscation and destruction of all the seized goods.

Highly Commended: Robert Edmunds (Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Trading Standards)

Despite an exceptionally small team and resource cut backs, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Trading Standards has kept tackling intellectual property crime as a key objective. Robert has pro- actively pursued offenders, resulting in large seizures of unsafe counterfeit goods and positive court results. Robert is always willing to accept referrals and liaise with brand holders to investigate offenders.

Departmental Award for Excellence in Anti-Counterfeiting Enforcement Winner: Bridgend, Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan Shared Regulatory Services

For the work carried out by Trading Standards during major events held last year including; concerts by Robbie Williams, Justin Bieber and Coldplay, the British Grand Prix Speedway, World Championship Boxing, WWE Wrestling, Disney on Ice, UEFA Champions League Festival and finals for both women and men. All of these events posed massive intellectual property infringements issues which the team dealt with.

Highly Commended: Cheshire East Council Trading Standards

Cheshire East Council Trading Standards’ Investigation Team has had another busy year, which has resulted in a number of intellectual property investigations and significant seizures. This includes the execution of warrants and inspections resulting in illicit tobacco being seized, with a retail value of £60,933. More than 3,000 counterfeit products have been seized by the team, worth £61,582 and with assistance from the Digital Forensics officer, they have evidenced the sale of 10,509 suspected counterfeit products sold through eBay, worth around £345,000.The team has also supported partners in Licensing, the Police, HMRC and Department of Work and Pensions.

Highly Commended: Ealing Council Trading Standards

Ealing Council Trading Standards has been successful in its recent work, which has resulted in the seizure of millions of pounds worth of counterfeit goods; in particular Samsung products.

Highly Commended: Powys County Council Trading Standards, Consumer Fraud Team

Powys Trading Standards’ Consumer Fraud Team has achieved significant results in tackling intellectual property crime in rural mid Wales and across the UK. The team has conducted a number of large scale and high quality investigations, crossing regional boundaries. The high level of intelligence logs they have achieved, resulted in viable and successful court cases. They have made a huge impact and work hard to unravel every last piece of intelligence to ensure related authorities are satisfied.

Special Commendation Award for Excellence in Anti-Counterfeiting Enforcement Awarded to:

Border Force (Heathrow) – Mike Burt, Emma Bridge and Dominic Roberts

Dean BUTT – Border Force (East Midlands Airport)

Felixstowe International Trade Team

Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation - Intellectual Property Crime Unit (Special mention to DS Dave Gilmore)

West Midlands Police Force CID Prevent Team (Special mention to DC 21415 Paul Bradbury)

About ACG

ACG represents more than 3,000 brands affected by this influx of fakes into the UK and delivers an international network of information, advice and contacts on all aspects of IP protection. Working with Government and law enforcement agencies since 1980, ACG is focused on providing an effective and sustained response to counterfeiting.

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