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Counterfeit Goods May Be Common but Selling Them is a Crime

The trade in so-called ‘knock off’ goods is nowadays so widespread that people tend to forget that it is criminal. In one case, a shopkeeper who made up to £300,000 selling counterfeit tobacco and cigarettes was handed a hefty jail sentence.

The man was caught out by Trading Standards officers dealing in fake Amber Leaf tobacco and Mayfair cigarettes. He had continued with his highly profitable, but illegal, business despite having been clearly warned to desist. Test purchases proved his guilt and much of his bogus stock was eventually seized.

He subsequently admitted seven charges of possessing goods bearing a counterfeit trade mark, and two of selling such goods, and was jailed for two years and eight months. He had no mitigation, save for his guilty pleas. The facts of the case emerged as the Court of Appeal reduced his sentence to two years.