UK Border Force officers have seized around 578 boxes of counterfeit cosmetic gift sets with a potential value of up to £10m ($16m).
The seizure at the entrance to the Channel Tunnel in France was made in the early hours of 28 August as officers carried out checks on a Dutch-registered vehicle en route to a business park in Newcastle-under-Lyme.
The brands involved include Dior, Chanel, Bobbi Brown and MAC, and it was clear from errors with the labelling and instructions that the cosmetics were definitely fake, according to the enforcement team.
The Border Force team inspected the load and it soon became clear that the cosmetic sets and their packaging were of inferior quality. The goods were seized and the investigation has been passed to Kent County Council (KCC) Trading Standards.
"Counterfeit goods cause damage to legitimate businesses and traders and they leave customers out of pocket with inferior and possibly dangerous goods," commented Paul Morgan, Director of Border Force South East and Europe.
KCC Trading Standards said it has now sent samples for testing so that it can determine whether these cosmetics were actually dangerous as well as counterfeit.