A LOCK-UP full of counterfeit phone merchandise was discovered by police and Trading Standards officials in Leeds after a planned operation to target the sale of fake goods from street stalls.
Checks on eight ‘street trolleys’ in Briggate and Commercial Street found many phone cases and other items were cheap imitations of brands including Apple, Chanel, Michael Kors and Louis Vuitton.
And further investigations led officials to a site in Templar Street packed full of counterfeit goods.
Officers filled three transit vans with the seized stock on Wednesday and were back on site yesterday to collect more.
Inspector Andy Berriman, of Leeds City policing team, said: “It’s massive really in terms of the loss of income from legitimate businesses and the dangers of for the people buying it if something is faulty and they’re refusing to replace it. You’ve not got the safeguards.”
The operation was prompted by complaints from businesses about the fakes being sold.
Police and Trading Standards were joined by brand protection officers from the likes of Apple, Chanel and Manchester United.
Insp Berriman said: “They got all the vendors together and then went through everyone on the stands to identify branded goods and seized the whole lot.
“They’ve gone down to some premises where one of these traders has said they buy all their stock and found this unit set up like a shop, floor to ceiling with more counterfeit stuff.
“Initially we were thinking we would get a few dozen phone cases, but they’ve got three transit vans full yesterday and they’re down there again today.”
They found this unit set up like a shop, floor to ceiling with more counterfeit stuff.Inspector Andy Berriman, Leeds City policing team
Those found to be selling fake items from the street stalls have had their licences revoked by police.
Meanwhile, investigations into the Templar Street unit are continuing.