UK counterfeiters have ill-gotten gains confiscated

Two people in the UK who were sentenced for importing and distributing counterfeit goods have been issued confiscation orders with a combined total of £269,000 ($333,000), according to the Police Intellectual property Crime Unit (PIPCU).

Xiao Guang Xia (42) of Salford in Manchester – who was sentenced to two years' imprisonment in connection with the offences in 2021 – has been given three months to pay a little over £178,000 or will be forced to serve another two-and-a-half years.

His wife Jian Lin (39) was sentenced to eight months in prison, suspended for two years, and will have to pay around £91,000 or have another 15 months added to her sentence.

The couple sold counterfeit shoes from a location in Cheetham Hill, the location of Manchester's notorious counterfeit street which has been the site of a concerted law enforcement crackdown over the last few years, under a business known as Apple Footwear Ltd.

PIPCU officers seized 280,000 pairs of counterfeit shoes from a warehouse and retail premises owned by Xia in 2019, along with around £20,000 in cash from their home address in Kempsters Gardens.

The confiscation orders were obtained under the 2002 Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA), which empowers the authorities to seize assets of people convicted of offences and has become a potent weapon in the fight against IP crime.

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