28 August 2019
Tens of thousands of illegally manufactured branded labels which were ready to be applied to clothing, together with hundreds of finished garments were seized in a raid yesterday at a factory in Handsworth, Birmingham.
Inside the illicit factory officers found ‘sweat shop’ conditions and machinery that was producing counterfeit clothing bearing major high street brand names.
Although no workers were found on-site, personal items indicated that up to 10 people were potentially working there and being exploited to operate in poor and unsafe conditions.
“This was part of a joint National Markets Group (NMG) and National Trading Standards operation called Op BEORMA which is a multi-agency intelligence-led operation. This action involved Regional and National Trading Standards, West Midlands Police, West Midlands Fire Service, Regional Organised Crime Unit, the Anti-Counterfeiting Group (ACG) and a number of ACG brand member representatives.
"Inside the factory we found presses, knitting machines, branded and un-branded clothing and around 40,000 branded labels ready to be applied to the garments. All of the goods were seized together with the machinery and a Mercedes van used by the traders to carry out this criminal business" commented Graham Mogg, ACG Intelligence Coordinator and chair of the NMG.
The raid is expected to cause major disruption to the criminals and organised crime groups involved in the supply and distribution of counterfeit goods and other linked criminality.
BBC Midlands Today featured the raid at the top of their news programme. You can see the feature on BBC iPlayer https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m00080xp/midlands-today-late-news-27082019
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.
Membership with the ACG is the best way to work with government and enforcement bodies to protect your brand. Our Roadshows and training days help you reach out to police, trading standards and border force officers and tell them about your genuine products.