Over £3 million worth of counterfeit goods have been seized from Cheetham Hill over the last week during 10 raids as part of a “crackdown”.
According to a statement shared by Greater Manchester Police (GMP), officers from The City of London Police, North West Regional and Organised Crime Unit (NWROCU), Border Force, Immigration, and local officers from the Cheetham Hill neighbourhood team carried out a warrant on Lockett Street and Bury New Road yesterday morning, and successfully managed to seize £1 million worth of goods.
The counterfeit goods found and seized during the raids included everything from clothing and accessories, to bags, perfume, jewellery, and more.
This was the tenth raid carried out by the local officers and partners, and forms part of GMP’s Operation’s ‘Magpie and Cranium’ – which aim to tackle “the illegal distribution of counterfeit items”, and tackle “the supply of illicit prescription drugs”.
Six men, all aged between 36 and 61, have been arrested and released under investigation pending further enquiries, according to GMP.
Speaking following the raids, Inspector William Jennings-Wharton – from the Cheetham Neighbourhood team – explained: “This is all part of our continued work to tackle organised crime taking place in Cheetham Hill and I want to reassure the local community that we are listening to their concerns and this week’s action is all part of our continued crackdown.
“Counterfeit goods and drug dealing will not be tolerated and all of these raids are a huge step in really driving a wedge in organised crime in the area.”
He continued: “Counterfeit goods are not a victimless crime.
“Though these desired items may look good and are cheap, they are funding a wider picture that involves money laundering, organised crime and cheap labour [and] the profits from such businesses can be used to fund other serious crime, and often with that comes violence which can have a devastating ripple effect on communities and nearby legitimate businesses.”
“This operation will have severely disrupted organised crime groups linked to counterfeit goods,” added Detective Chief Inspector Suzanne Ferris, of the City of London Police’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU).
“We believe the thousands of goods seized would have supplied gangs in Cheetham Hill, selling fake goods across the country this Christmas.”
A spokesperson for Manchester City Council added: “Counterfeit crime runs far deeper than just the sale of knock-off coats and handbags [as] there are deep links to other criminal enterprises and the sale of fake goods only puts money in the hands of criminals.
“We remain committed to tackling this practice at the source and will continue to work with our partners in the police to secure prosecution against perpetrators.
“And get fake goods off our streets.”
Featured Image – GMP