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Counterfeit clothes are rebranded for those in need

Published Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Over 3,000 counterfeit clothing items are losing their labels and being rebranded for distribution to vulnerable living in Enfield.

The clothes were seized by Enfield Council's Trading Standards officers and donated to His Church for distribution to the needy.

Richard Humphrey, senior co-ordinator at His Church, said: "We are extremely grateful for this clothing and pleased that we can rebrand it and return it to Enfield where it will go to people in great need. This means that many families and people in need can make use of clothing that would have been sold at inflated prices. I am delighted that we can help people in this way and make good use of the clothing."

Ibrahim Guder, 33, of Willowfield, Harlow, was convicted of 12 offences under the Trade Marks Act and was sentenced to nine months imprisonment for 10 of the offences and eight months for two others on Friday 9 March. The sentences will run concurrently.  The court has also ordered that all the property seized should be destroyed but Enfield Council's trading standards team is handing over the goods to 'His Church' a charity based in Lincolnshire who will rebrand them and return them to Enfield.

Trading Standards officers and police visited an upstairs office in Ponders End in December 2008 and found 2,891 items with a retail value of more than £20,000 ready for sale over the Christmas period. Investigations revealed that Ibrahim Guder was responsible for the hoard and he was charged with 12 offences and found guilty of 10 offences by a jury at Southwark Crown Court on 10 February2012, admitting the other two during the trial.

Among the items found were counterfeit clothes by a number of fashion houses including Ralph Lauren shirts, Louis Vuitton handbags, Links of London jewellery, Nike trainers, Timberland boots, Chloe T-shirts, Prada purses, Stone Island sweaters, Moschino jeans, Fred Perry shirts
D&G jeans, History Iceberg jeans and Scarface T-shirts.

The police tipped Enfield Council off about the clothing in Ponders End. Once there, officers found a photograph of Mr Guder attached to a printer as well as his mobile phone, car keys and a computer. Enfield Council's Cabinet Member for Environment, Cllr Chris Bond, said: "The sale of counterfeit items is not a victimless crime, these items are usually extremely poor quality and in many cases their sale helps to fund more serious crimes such as people smuggling, drug dealing and prostitution.

"I would urge residents to let us know if they think traders are dealing in counterfeit items so we can investigate and take action if necessary.

"This case sends a strong message that we do not tolerate counterfeiters operating in our borough and we will bring them to justice regardless of how long it takes. This prosecution is an excellent example of the strong partnership work between our trading standards and legal teams and the police."

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