Hackney Council targets sale of illegal alcohol and counterfeit goods

Hackney Council’s Trading Standards have been carrying out a programme of routine inspections of premises selling counterfeit goods and illegal alcohol and tobacco as part of their on going work to stamp out this illegal trade in the borough.

On the 8 March, officers from Hackney Trading Standards seized over 1,000 designer bags worth £6000 from two Importers & Wholesalers operating from premises in Hackney Road, E9.

Trading Standards had received confirmed intelligence from Anti Counterfeiting Group; Brand Protection that premises located on Hackney Road were in the process of distributing counterfeit Le Pilage designer fake bags to high street shops in London.

The two targeted Importers & Wholesale were reported to be supplying counterfeit Apple Corp “Beatles Bags, Cathy Kidston, Dolce Gabbanna and Le Pliage style bags and knowingly distributing into the market place. Officers also found other trade mark infringements when conducted searches of each premise.

Hackney Council Trading Standards are now conducting an on going investigation with the aim of bringing criminal proceedings. This is a serious crime and penalties include a heavy fine or a six month prison sentence for dealing in counterfeit goods.

On 6 March 15 premises were visited to check alcohol and tobacco to make sure that the products were genuine and duty had been paid. A total of 29 bottles of Smirnoff vodka were seized, 13 bottles of Glens vodka and 4 bottles of High Commissioner Whiskey. And 12 packets of 50g packets of Golden Virginia tobacco was seized for incorrect labeling.

All of them were found to be selling Smirnoff vodka which had had the labels changed to avoid paying duty.  All the bottles seized are being sent off for further verification and investigations.

Trading Standards officers were accompanied on their visits by Customs, (HMRC), The International Federation of Spirit Producers (IFSP) and the police.

”People want to be able to trust that when they buy something they are buying a genuine product. Hackney Council Trading Standards is committed to protecting the consumer rights of residents, and to ensuring they get a fair deal. These operations send a warning to traders that counterfeit goods are illegal, unsafe and will not be tolerated in Hackney

Counterfeiting and illegal trade is a crime and offenders can be charged under Trade Marks Act 1994: Sec 92. The sale damages legitimate businesses and also puts considerable risks to consumers-through dangerous goods like counterfeit alcohol. It is often found that those engaged in counterfeiting and piracy often found to be involved in other criminality.

Cllr Feryal Demirci, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods said: "Buying fake goods can leave you out of pocket, and they can also be very dangerous for your health. We want our residents to be extra vigilant when purchasing items to ensure they don't become a victim of fraud. Counterfeit goods are illegal and unsafe and this is a warning to traders that in Hackney, you could be prosecuted, cautioned or have your licence reviewed if you sell fake goods."

Anyone that suspects counterfeit or illegal products are being sold from any premises in Hackney should contact Trading Standards on 020 8356 4929 or