​​​​​​​Trading Standards take action against local counterfeiter

Following a Highland Council Trading Standards investigation, Wick Sheriff Court has imposed a court order on a 42 year old local woman who was found to be selling counterfeit goods. The Order places stringent restrictions on her future conduct and any breach of it can lead to a hefty fine or imprisonment.

After a lengthy investigation into the selling of ‘designer fake goods’ on Facebook a warrant was executed on Sarah Jane Farmer of Wick in May 2018. Farmer was caught in possession of 188 counterfeit items including handbags, football strips, clothing, and footwear, sunglasses, aftershave and perfume.  The brand names attributed to the counterfeit items included Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Michael Kors, UGG, Chanel, Nike, Adidas, Gucci, North Face, Superdry, Calvin Klein, Fila, Sketcher, Tommy Hilfiger, Ellesse, Dolce & Gabbana, Rayban, Liverpool FC, Moncler and Van.

The total estimated High Street value of the seizure was over £30,000.

During the on-going Trading Standards investigation Farmer was found to be continuing to sell through social media. After a joint operation with Border Force, Farmer was stopped at Edinburgh Airport on 24th October 2018 and over 100 further counterfeit items were seized, with a High Street value of over £16,000.

An Enforcement Order under section 217 of the Enterprise Act 2002 was granted which prohibits Farmer from selling or having in her possession counterfeit goods. Further measures were granted which stipulate Ms Farmer requires to notify Highland Council Trading Standards if she is planning to fly to Turkey where she was buying the counterfeit goods. She is also required to advise Trading Standards what social media or online classified selling accounts she owns, operates or posts content upon.  These were the channels she used to sell the fake items.

David MacKenzie, Highland Council’s Trading Standards Manager, said: “This type of crime undermines legitimate Highland businesses, deceives consumers and damages the interests of those who own the intellectual property rights of the trade marks which are been copied.

“We urge the public to show their support by not buying this illegal trade which is ultimately controlled at production level by serious criminals who fund terrorism, trafficking and slavery.  Those who choose to supply fakes in the Highlands will be investigated and strongly dealt with.”  

If anyone has any information about the sale of counterfeit goods, they can let Trading Standards know anonymously online at the Highland Council website: www.highland.gov.uk/counterfeits

Farmer will be monitored for five years in which time if she breaches the conditions of the Enforcement Order she will be in contempt of court which would enable further proceedings to be taken against her. If a breach of the Enforcement Order is found -  this could result in a heavy fine or a prison sentence.

17 Jan 2019
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