Shop­pers get fakes warn­ing

Shop­pers hear some of shock­ing tales be­hind fake prod­ucts

Evening Times - - FRONT PAGE - By AMY McDON­ALD

A MAS­SIVE haul of fake hand­bags, cig­a­rettes and boots has gone on dis­play in a shop­ping cen­tre.

Po­lice or­gan­ised the dis­play to warn the public about pur­chas­ing coun­ter­feit goods. A spokesman said: “This was a great way to en­gage with the public and warn of the dan­gers.”

A HOARD of coun­ter­feit goods went on dis­play as part of a safer com­mu­ni­ties cam­paign.

Fake hand­bags, cig­a­rettes and boots went on show at Cly­de­bank Shop­ping Cen­tre as part of a joint op­er­a­tion be­tween Po­lice Scot­land, Fed­er­a­tion Against Copy­right Theft (FACT), Trad­ing Stan­dards and the Anti-Coun­ter­feit Group (ACG).

Po­lice pointed out coun­ter­feit hand­bags and clothes are in­fe­rior qual­ity and are of­ten made in fac­to­ries abroad that op­er­ate with forced labour, in­clud­ing chil­dren.

And fake UGG boots are made from the fur of Rac­coon dogs but, due to the dif­fer­ence in qual­ity and for speed, the dogs are mass bred in China and then skinned alive.

There was also a demon­stra­tion of tip­ping a wine bot­tle up­side to show if there were bub­bles in the al­co­hol, which showed it was most likely to con­tain other prod­ucts such as screen wash.

Po­lice Scot­land’s mes­sage was that harm­ful in­gre­di­ents in­cluded in th­ese fake prod­ucts should not be un­der­es­ti­mated.

The bar­gains are said to be not worth the risk as many prod­ucts could po­ten­tially put a life in dan­ger.

A po­lice spokesman said: “This was a great way to en­gage with the public and warn them of the dan­gers.

“I think it was a to­tal eye open- er for a l ot of peo­ple who at­tended.”

In 2014 ap­prox­i­mately £24mil­lion-worth of coun­ter­feit and il­licit goods were col­lected in Scot­land.

Chief In­spec­tor Kenny Thom­son from Po­lice Scot­land’s Spe­cial­ist Crime Di­vi­sion said: “Coun­ter­feit goods and il­licit trade have links to or­gan­ised crime and we are fo­cused on tar- get­ing th­ese peo­ple who put harm­ful prod­ucts into our com­mu­ni­ties for their own gain.

“All they care about is mak­ing money – they don’t care about the con­se­quences of sell­ing th­ese prod­ucts.”

“It is known that the peo­ple sell­ing th­ese goods are of­ten us­ing the cash to fund other crimes such as drug deal­ing, hu­man traf­fick­ing and money laun­der­ing.”

Po­lice set up a stand ex­plain­ing the dan­gers of coun­ter­feit goods in Cly­de­bank. Pic­ture: Colin Tem­ple­ton

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