Warehouse containing £1 million of counterfeit goods seized in Cheetham Hill

Credit: Greater Manchester Police

A warehouse containing around £1 million worth of counterfeit goods has been uncovered in North Manchester.

Three men, aged between 25 and 45, have been arrested on suspicion of being involved in producing counterfeit goods.

Officers from City of London Police’s Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) were joined by Greater Manchester Police’s Operation Vulcan to seize the goods as well as machinery and labelling for the products.

They were also joined by Immigration Enforcement, Manchester City Council, Greater Manchester Fire Rescue Service and brand representatives.

Detective Sergeant Matt Donnelly, one of Operation Vulcan’s specialist officers said: “Counterfeit goods are not a victimless crime, and whilst the low price of these items can be appealing, they are contributing to a much wider picture that involves money laundering, cheap labour, and exploitation.

"The profits individuals are making from these illegitimate businesses are used to fund serious organised crime, and with that, comes violence that is having a devastating impact on the local communities and legitimate businesses.

“The work doesn’t stop here, and I’d like to thank all our partners who came today and who are involved in our mission of ridding Cheetham Hill and Strangeways of criminality."

Officers from City of London Police and Greater Manchester Police raided the factory. Credit: Greater Manchester Police

Detective Chief Inspector Gary Robinson, from PIPCU, said: “Consumers who buy counterfeit designer clothes have no way of knowing the conditions in which they were made or what the proceeds are going to fund.

“We often see links between the counterfeit goods trade and organised criminal groups. The findings of this operation highlight that those who coordinate the production of these items have little regard for the welfare and working conditions of the people who make them and choose to prioritise their own financial gain.

“We would always urge the public to think twice before buying counterfeit designer goods and will continue to work with our partners to clamp down on those who produce and sell them.”

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