Senior Trading Standards officers from Walsall Council led a raid on Sunday 2 December at the Bescot Sunday Market, where a total of 27 enforcement agents hauled in thousands of pounds worth of Counterfeit goods.
Assisting the Walsall officers were Trading Standards Regional Investigators, Walsall Police officers and brand protection representatives.
The National Markets Group (NMG) have identified Bescot Market as one of the top 10 markets in the Country in terms of counterfeiting activity and Walsall Council has been involved in ongoing discussions and the development of strategies to combat the illegal trade associated with the Market.
Trading Standards Team Leader, Stuart Powell said, ‘An operation of this scale involves careful planning. Officers identified a number of stalls that were selling counterfeit items, with 5 of these being the main targets. As well as seizing goods on the day, this type of activity will enable us to further assess the level of counterfeiting that is taking place. It will disrupt the illegal trade that is happening on the site and give us valuable insight and intelligence about organised crime in the region. The more information we have, the more we can work to protect public safety and legitimate traders in the borough.’
‘A 20 foot container was filled with an array of items including unsafe cosmetics, clothing and footwear, watches, handbags and various other accessories, with brand names such as Adidas, Prada, Ted Baker, Boss and Armani being used illegally. If these goods were genuine then their high street value would be in excess of £100,000.’
Once the word was out that the enforcement team was on site, some stall holders were able to stow away their illegal stock. It is estimated that the true high street value of counterfeit goods sold at the Sunday market could be millions of pounds.
As a result of this enforcement activity, investigations will be made into those caught selling the illegal goods and further enquiries made with the market operators and the Football Club to ensure robust action is taken against all counterfeiters trading on the market.
Notes to editors
• The National Markets Group for IP Protection (NMG), which consists of representatives from industry, enforcement and government, works in partnership to reduce the availability of counterfeit and pirated goods at markets, car boot sales and social media platforms such as Facebook. Recent initiatives coordinated by the NMG and its partners have set about tackling counterfeiting activity at these locations.
• Bescot Sunday Market is situated on the grounds outside the Walsall Football Clubs Bank’s Stadium on Bescot Crescent.
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