Jail time for UK fake clothing gang

Street marketA UK court has jailed members of a fake goods gang for up to three years after exposing clothing import activities.

The three men pled guilty of conspiracy to defraud for importing counterfeit clothes from China to sell in Manchester, UK. Police found counterfeit labels for 45 brands that the gang added to fake clothing before shipping to retailers.

Paul Yates, the policeman who jointly led the case, said: "Counterfeiting on this scale requires serious organisation, established distribution channels and money. Judging by the swathes of boxes we seized, it is clear this gang had set up a highly profitable criminal venture."

Police valued the fakes they found at £500,000 ($780,000). The three men now face jail terms ranging from one to three years, while several other people received suspended sentences or community service. Two other offenders are still wanted by police.

The men were operating in an area some view as the centre of UK counterfeiting. In 2011 a chief Trading Standards officer told the BBC counterfeit supply chains in the north-west of England are "very organised" and markets in Manchester and nearby Salford are "very well developed."

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