£56M Seized in Buying Fake Goods Could Fund ISIS: Christmas Shoppers Warned

£56M Seized in Buying Fake Goods Could Fund ISIS: Christmas Shoppers Warned
Tue Dec 22, 2015 16:02:12

Millions of fake copies of popular brands sold in Britain could be funding terrorism and pose a danger to users, shoppers have been warned.

More than 1million counterfeit designer handbags, clothes, jewellery, children’s toys and electrical goods with a genuine retail value of £56million have been seized by Border Force officials over the past year.

Criminals successfully smuggle in items to sell then try to funnel money back to gangs, which can be used by terrorists to fund Paris-style atrocities.

Among goods intercepted this year were £350,000 worth of Bulgari jewellery and £382,600 worth of Louis Vuitton designer handbags, as well as £152,000 worth of Michael Kors cosmetics at East Midlands airport.

At Manchester Airport 16,400 Apple branded data cables worth £410,000 and £75,000 worth of Givenchy and Celine designer handbags were seized.

And in Glasgow 1,500 fake Pokemon toys and 30 Burberry scarves worth more than £10,000 were found.

If the goods had made it through, they would have be on sale in the run-up to Christmas - typically at car boot sales, market stalls or online.

From cut price alcohol to heavily discounted electronics, Christmas shoppers have been told to be wary of bargains that look too good to be true and report anything suspicious.

Once seized fake items are destroyed and the rights holders can then decide whether to privately prosecute the importers.

Immigration minister James Brokenshire said: "The international trade in counterfeits is linked to serious and organised crime and undercuts honest traders, damaging our economy.

"Customers are also left out of pocket with inferior and potentially dangerous goods.

"We are determined to crack down on this criminality and have Border Force officers working 24 hours a day at ports, airports and mail sorting centres to identify and seize counterfeits."

Border Force North deputy director, Emma Porter added: "Organised criminals will be making these products for pennies, potentially selling them for hundreds of pounds and obviously that provides them.

with money to then look at things like drugs, tobacco - but could also be used to fund terrorism;" Express reported.


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