Counterfeit goods being sold by traders using Facebook and Instagram have been seized during a series of raids. Thousands of items including dangerous cosmetics, electrical products and chargers were seized. Counterfeit footwear, leather goods and tobacco were also found in various raids across the UK.
The operation, led by the Trading Standards e-crime team, targeted markets where the suppliers of these traders were thought to operate. The raids were the result of intelligence work including information recovered from mobile phones and satellite navigation systems found during previous raids.
“When criminals infiltrate and undermine social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram consumers are put at risk of injury and harm,” said Graham Mogg, who chairs the Anti-Counterfeiting Group. “Targeting the wholesale suppliers at markets and retail premises, as well as the traders operating on social media, has removed tens of thousands of unsafe and other counterfeit goods from the market place.” Details were released on the same day as Christmas shoppers were warned to check their presents after a raft of fake goods were seized on their way into the UK.
More than 83,000 items were confiscated by the Border Force at airports in one operation over six days in December.