Hooky gear seized in trading standards sting at Whitechapel Market
- Credit: LBTH
More than 400 fake goods have been seized from market stalls in Whitechapel in a Trading Standards sting targeting rogue traders trying to fleece Christmas shoppers.
The tough measures carried out by Tower Hamlets Council was part of "Operation Real Deal" over the festive season, a national campaign promoting the sale of genuine brand goods.
Some of the pirate goods that were seized were imitations of well-known high-tech brands such as Apple and Samsung.
"Those peddling fake goods should know we'll prosecute them," mayor John Biggs warned.
"We are committed to tackling the sale of counterfeit goods in street markets. Consumers should feel safe knowing they're buying genuine products—not fakes."
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Trading standards officials also set up their own stall outside Whitechapel Idea Store with information on how to spot fake goods.
Their town hall spokesman said: "Stamping out counterfeit goods has been the name of the game for trading standards officers on the beat in Whitechapel."
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The local authority is working with the National Markets Group in a New Year campaign to get traders to sign up to a "fake-free markets charter", while shoppers are being urged to look for the "real deal" logo.
Campaign coordinator Patricia Lennon said: "The logo is a message to rogue traders who have no scruples about selling counterfeit goods to keep out of the markets."
Genuine traders risk losing sales when counterfeits find their way into a market, the Markets Group points out.
Group chairman Graham Mogg said: "Revenue from fake goods goes to the black market rather than the economy. The trade in fakes is frequently found to be linked to organised crime - something that would horrify most shoppers or traders if they knew."
Organisations in the Markets Group include the police, local authorities, HM Revenue & Customs, Trading Standards Institute, Intellectual Property Office, Department of Work & Pensions and organisations tackling illegal tobacco sales.
Some 500 street markets around Britain have already signed up voluntarily to the charter to stamp out rogue trading in hooky gear.
Now the Markets Group wants to get all stallholders in the New Year onto the bandwagon.