The largest ever seizure of counterfeit goods from a Moray address has netted £40,000 in alleged contraband.
Trading Standards officers joined Police Scotland in a raid on a private address in the region that led to the seizure of items that included clothes, handbags, sunglasses, watches and jewellery.
Action was taken following an investigation into sales of allegedly fake designer-name goods via social media websites.
Moray’s trading standards manager Peter Adamson said: “The supply of counterfeit goods undermines local traders who play by the rules, the manufacture and distribution of fake goods always involves organised crime at some point in the supply chain.
“The goods are usually shoddy and can be dangerous. I would urge consumers to steer clear of fakes. They are not the bargain they are made out to be. I would also advise businesses to take extra care if offered stock from an unknown source.”
There has been an upsurge in the supply of fake items both in retail businesses and online outlets such as Facebook and EBay. Goods are more often than not of poor quality with many found to be dangerous – a recent case at Elgin Sheriff Court led to a retailer being fined for selling laptop chargers that failed safety standards.
Chair of the Moray Council police committee, Councillor Douglas Ross, commented: “Fakes are a menace to legitimate business and pose a danger to the public.
“Consumers should think twice before supporting the criminals who profit from making and distributing counterfeit goods. Trading standards will continue to actively investigate the supply of fakes and will report appropriate cases to the procurator fiscal.”
Concerns about counterfeit goods can be reported to the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0854 04 05 06 or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Businesses can get further guidance on avoiding fakes from trading standards on 0300 123 4561.