Fake goods worth millions seized at UK ports in run-up to Christmas

Credit: PA

Counterfeit goods worth several million pounds have been seized by Border Force officers in the run-up to Christmas.

Among the fake items seized at ports and airports were 82,320 pairs of Calvin Klein underpants worth approximately £1.5 million, and and 1,440 Superdry hoodie tops worth approximately £100,000.

Officers in Southampton found 450 counterfeit Dyson fans and Apple chargers worth approximately £182,500 and 2,112 Spiderman, Pokemon and Hello Kitty hand-held fans worth approximately £31,680.

At Manchester, customs opfficers uncovered 1,530 Pandora charms worth approximately £45,900, while at Heathrow 16,000 Gillette Mach 3 razor blades worth approximately £143,840 were seized.

Sports goods were also seized, including 379 Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund football shirts at Dover Port, and 48 pairs of Nike Vapormax trainers at Manchester Airport.

A variety of hand-held fans were seized. Credit: PA

During a two-day operation held at East Midlands Airport in November, officers seized 5,767 items with an estimated retail value of £2.6 million, including 485 Louis Vuitton, Diesel, Hublot and Bulgari watches worth approximately £1.4 million.

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

"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."

Sean Gigg, Border Force higher officer at Southampton Dock, said imported good were scanned using an X-ray machine to check items in shipping crates matched the manifest.

Border Force officer Robert Martin with seized children's toys. Credit: PA

“We are finding everything from counterfeit fans to counterfeit underpants, toys, cosmetics, watches, it's anything that a counterfeiter can counterfeit,” he said.

"Naturally at Christmas we are going to see a lot more counterfeits being intercepted simply because of the supply and demand in the UK.

"To the average person it's very important because you do not know what you are buying, you think you are buying a genuine product but it's not really, it's a counterfeit product that hasn't been tested for safety standards.

"So, an electrical item you could plug in and it could set on fire for instance or it could have small movable parts that could fall off and choke a small child."