A trader who sold fake jewellery on the weekends in an attempt to evade Trading Standards has been stung by fines and court costs totalling more than £10,000.
During a visit by Manchester City Council Trading Standards Officers in March 2018 to Moda Jewellery, in Derby Street, more than 1,700 counterfeit items were discovered. The brands found included Chanel, Michael Kors, and Royal British Legion poppies.
Following intelligence that sales of counterfeit jewellery were continuing the shop was visited again in May 2019, when a further 640 items were seized by officers. Intelligence suggested that counterfeit items were being sold during the weekend to avoid regular enforcement action carried out by the Council.
When appearing at Manchester Magistrates’ Court, the shop manager Tao Qu, 50, of Delaney Way, argued that these items had come through in an imported bulk order and that he was not aware that the items were fake. He said he was simply trying to get rid of them and denied that he intentionally tried to sell fake goods on the weekend.
Qu, and the trading company - Fashion Button Ltd. - were both charged with 13 counts of being in possession of counterfeit goods. On 9 January 2020 they pleaded guilty to all charges and were sentenced.
Qu was fined £1,000, ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £100 and costs of £1,345.
The company was ordered to pay a fine of £500 per charge resulting in a total fine of £6,500, a victim surcharge of £50 and costs of £1,345.
Councillor Rabnawaz Akbar, Executive Member for Neighbourhoods, said: “I’m grateful for the diligent work of our Trading Standards officers and our legal team in successfully securing this prosecution.
"The sale of fake goods continues to be a blight on our communities with the products sold being shoddy at best, and dangerous at worst. We know through our links with Greater Manchester Police that the sale of counterfeit merchandise often has links to organised crime, which is why we remain committed to stamping out this type of criminality.
“Furthermore it is disheartening to yet again see fake Poppy merchandise being sold so openly. The Poppy Appeal is a deeply significant charity for millions of people and to see it abused for the sake of profit is appalling.”