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King of counterfeit handbags jailed after £1m cache discovered

PUBLISHED: 17:22 15 October 2008 | UPDATED: 13:41 05 October 2010

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A MAN who was selling fake designer bags with a street value of more than £1 million has been jailed for three years -the longest sentence dished out for a trading standards case in Tower Hamlets. Snaresbrook Crown Court heard that Yong Niu Wang was trad

A MAN who was selling fake designer bags with a street value of more than £1 million has been jailed for three years -the longest sentence dished out for a trading standards case in Tower Hamlets.

Snaresbrook Crown Court heard that Yong Niu Wang was trading from Centre Bags Ltd, 65a Vyner Street in Bethnal Green in 2003 when trading standards officers swooped.

They confiscated 16,974 imitation. Fake brands included Puma, Burberry, Playboy, Adidas and Louis Vuitton.

Wang (also known as Eric), 32, from Islington, pleaded guilty at Snaresbrook Crown Court to five counts contrary to the Trade Marks Act 1994.

The court on Monday, October 6 heard how, following a tip off, council officers and representatives from Puma and Burberry visited the premises and found so many counterfeit goods that it took all day to conduct the search.

It took two trucks to remove all the bags from the warehouse.

Judge Alan Pardoe sentenced Wang on the basis that he was the prime mover in a highly profitable commercial enterprise and handed out three years imprisonment on each count to run concurrently.

Judge Pardoe also ordered the bags be destroyed.

After the hearing, Tower Hamlets trading standards boss John McCrohan said: "This is yet another example of where people thought it was acceptable to rip off Tower Hamlets residents and shoppers by selling them counterfeit goods.

"These bags are made for pennies and then sold on for £30 or £40 a go. "It's big business and this man was at the top level.

"Counterfeiting is not victimless. It rips off UK businesses - that's our factories and jobs and it also rips off the public who believe they are buying better quality."

The case has taken four years to come to court because Wang had not been answering summonses.

Thames Magistrates' court then issued a warrant for his arrest and Wang was finally picked up in a routine police check this summer.

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