Fake pants worth £1.5m seized in Xmas crackdown

Fake goods worth millions of pounds, including over 80,000 pairs of Calvin Klein pants, have been found at ports around the UK in the run-up to Christmas.

The haul of fake Calvin Klein underwear, worth £1.5m, 1,440 Superdry hoodie tops worth £100,000 were seized at Southampton port in recent weeks.

Also found were 1,530 Pandora charms worth £45,900 at Manchester Airport and 48 pairs of Nike Vapormax trainers worth £5,760 at Manchester Airport.

At East Midlands Airport in November, Border Force officers seized 5,767 items with an estimated retail value of £2.6m.

Among these were 485 Louis Vuitton, Diesel, Hublot and Bulgari watches worth around £1.4m and 2,428 pairs of Nike trainers, football tops and tracksuits worth £251,000.

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

“Customers are also left out of pocket with inferior and potentially dangerous goods.

“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.”

Border Force officer Robert Martin with Pie Face! games

Image: A Border Force officer with counterfeit Pie Face! games

Sean Gigg, Border Force higher officer at Southampton Dock, said shipping crates were monitored using a large X-ray machine to check the items inside matched the manifest.

He said: “We are finding everything from counterfeit fans to counterfeit underpants, toys, cosmetics, watches, it’s anything that a counterfeiter can counterfeit.

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

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“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.”