A father and his twin sons have been handed prison sentences for selling counterfeit clothing in Ingoldmells.
Iftakhar Ahmed, 41, from Walsall, West Midlands was running two market stalls in Fantasy Island with the help of his twin sons Hasan and Asad Iftakhar, 23.
Back in 2011, Nike discovered that copies of its trainers were being sold in significant quantities from Trainerz4U and 350 Sea Lane.
They joined forces with Lincolnshire Trading Standards, Lincolnshire Police and representatives from Adidas to raid the market stalls, seizing enough counterfeit clothing to fill two 40ft shipping containers.
The dad was arrested and later released on bail. The twins attended a voluntary interview conducted by Trading Standards at a later date.
Trading Standards continued to monitor the stalls, while further investigations were being carried out, and found more fakes just one year later, infringing the trademarks of Hunter, Vivienne Westwood, Superdry, Armani, Jack Wills, Hollister, Barbour, Tom’s and others. Another raid was carried out in August 2014 and more than 200 items were confiscated.
At Lincoln Crown Court on Thursday, Iftakhar Ahmed, Asad Iftakhar and Hasan Iftakhar were handed prison sentences of two years and six months, 12 months and six months respectively.
Sentencing at the court, Judge Wigoder said: “This is a family business and clearly there is no doubt that dad is the prime mover and his sons are at his behest. The selling of counterfeit goods was clearly profitable as can be seen by the scale and size of the amounts of counterfeit goods seized, for example the 4,600 UGG tags which were clearly to be used to pass off boots as UGG products.
“Word has to get out that people who deal in counterfeit goods will go to prison and in this case it is aggravated by the fact that you all have a sustained period of offending. You have not stopped selling counterfeit goods, even after arrest and being on bail, or even attending voluntary interviews after significant quantities of counterfeit goods have been seized.”
The judge also said that all three men will serve a minimum of half of their sentences and that if they deal in counterfeit goods in the future they could be given a significantly longer sentence.
Speaking after the court case, Alan Griffin, Trading Standards officer, said: “This kind of offending is not just a small crime and it undermines real companies. It affects their trade so it affects legitimate jobs. It is also likely the sort of goods they were selling were produced in sweat shops around the world where children are being exploited.
“We encourage consumers not to buy these products and to let us know where they are being sold instead. Fakes are often of poor quality and a trader who is breaking the law isn’t likely to offer you any compensation.”
If you know where counterfeit goods are being sold please report it to Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.