High-end fashion and cosmetics brands were among a haul of hundreds of counterfeit goods when the council’s trading standards team raided an Addiscombe shop.
Following a tip-off from a member of the public, trading standards officers (TSOs) went to Elegant Sheek, in Lower Addiscombe Road, on 25 August 2015.
The woman who alerted trading standards said that her suspicions were aroused when she saw price tags of only tens of pounds on items that would normally cost hundreds.
The TSOs found goods bearing the trade mark logos of 23 companies, many of them internationally recognised, including Chanel, Yves St Laurent and Burberry.
After more than two hours’ examination of the stock, the team seized some 360 articles, including shoes, bags and items of jewellery and make-up that, had they been the genuine articles, would have been worth thousands of pounds.
When interviewed, shop owner Afua Akyiaa said that she had bought all of the items in good faith. Some she bought believing they were over-stock matter, and therefore being sold at clear-out prices, others she bought unaware that the logos were those of famous brands.
Among the seized bootleg goods were:
• a pair of counterfeit Burberry shoes being sold for £30 – genuine retail price £275-£365;
• a counterfeit Dolce & Gabbana handbag being sold for £80 – genuine retail price approximately £1,000;
• counterfeit Chanel costume jewellery being sold for £5 – genuine retail price £100;
• counterfeit Mac make-up being sold for £3 – genuine retail price for a Mac eye liner from £14.
Councillor Hamida Ali, cabinet member for communities, safety and justice
“Thanks to an alert and quick-thinking Addiscombe shopper, our trading standards team was able to act quickly and take a substantial number of counterfeit goods out of circulation.
“Counterfeit goods, in addition to being shoddily made, are potentially dangerous. In the case of cosmetics, they could contain hazardous and banned substances that are harmful to the skin.
“The application of common sense can save later grief and upset. A designer handbag selling for only £10 must surely raise a question in the buyer’s mind.
“Retailers should be wary when approached by salespeople offering brand-name goods at unlikely prices, and be mindful that selling counterfeit goods is an offence.
“Anybody who thinks they have purchased counterfeit goods, or who spot counterfeit goods being offered for sale, should report it to Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06.”