FAKE designer goods seized in Manchester are believed to have been destined for sale as Christmas presents in Cumbria.

Two Cumbria Trading Standards officers joined colleagues from across the North West in supporting an operation ran by Manchester City Council, which resulted in thousands of counterfeit designer items being seized in the Strangeways area of Manchester on Monday 10 December.

It is believed that some of these counterfeit goods could have been destined for Cumbria in the run up to Christmas and if they had been genuine it is estimated that the goods would have cost £2.5 million.

A Cumbria County Council spokesperson said: “Fake designer goods, including counterfeit jewellery, handbags, clothing and footwear, were seized in raids of a number of commercial units in the city.

“We believe it is possible some of these counterfeit goods could have been destined for sale in Cumbria in the run-up to Christmas.

“Counterfeit goods are poor quality at best and dangerous at worst. Cumbria Trading Standards would advise people to buy goods from places you know, from reputable retailers.”

A Manchester City Council spokesman said: “Manchester City Council working with its partners in Greater Manchester Police, HMRC and Immigration, raided several shops linked to the sale of counterfeit goods in the Strangeways area.

“Thousands of counterfeit designer items were seized which, if they had been genuine, would have been worth an estimated £2.5m.

“As criminality associated with this illicit trade affects not only Greater Manchester, several Trading Standards Officers from across the North West also took part in the operation.”

With Christmas looming, Cumbria Trading Standards have also released various advice via their social media outlets. This includes raising greater awareness around the importance of buying from reputable dealers as well as the risks associated with buying products online. To learn more visit: www.cumbria.gov.uk/tradingstandards/