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Counterfeit electronic products seized during searches in Belfast and Portadown

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Detectives from the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Organised Crime Branch have seized a significant amount of counterfeit Apple and other electronic High Street brand products during searches earlier today, Thursday 28 March.

Over 20,000 items, namely AirPods, Apple chargers, iPhones, smartwatches, mobile phones, phone cases, cables and vapes were seized during a search of two premises in Belfast and Portadown which were carried out with assistance from colleagues in the local District Support Teams.

“A sum of cash was also seized.

“Collectively the products represent an estimated brand loss of £600,000 to Apple and other High Street brands.

Detective Sergeant Mason said: “The investigation stemmed from seizures made in December 2023 in the East Midlands.’’ 

One man, aged 24 was arrested in Portadown on suspicion of immigration offences. He has been taken to Musgrave Police Station for questioning.

Detective Sergeant Mason continued: “Criminals will attempt to copy anything, from clothing and jewellery to, in this case, electronic items. Some consumers may unwittingly buy counterfeit goods, while others – pleased to have snatched an affordable replica – will be unaware of the hidden implications.

“The grim reality is that proceeds from the sale of counterfeit goods often fund serious organised crime, including drug dealing, money laundering and human trafficking.  

“There are also health and safety risks associated with the use of some counterfeit goods, including electrical items.  These items don’t undergo the testing and quality control that genuine items do.  A counterfeit phone charger, for example, won’t meet fire safety standards, and the attraction of ‘saving’ a few pounds could end up costing you your home.

“Additionally, and perhaps unknown to many, the majority of fake goods are produced in sweatshops.  Here, vulnerable individuals work tirelessly in horrific conditions, and get paid a pittance in return.”
Anyone with information, or concerns, about the supply of counterfeit goods is asked to contact police on 101.

Alternatively, information can be provided to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org

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