A HAUL of over a thousand counterfeit DVDs and CDs, along with counterfeit toys and illegal tobacco, has been seized in Pendle.
The seizure of the goods comes after recent raids on shops in Nelson and Longridge by Lancashire County Council’s Trading Standards service.
Trading Standards officers, assisted by Lancashire Police, have been following up complaints from consumers and struggling businesses to stamp out the sale of counterfeit goods, which can force legitimate retailers out of business.
A warrant was served at one Nelson shop on Wednesday evening last week, netting 429 illegal CDs and DVDs, many of which were hidden in a plywood compartment built into the wall of the shop.
This is the second seizure from this outlet so far this year. Suspected counterfeit toys and illegal tobacco products were also taken from the shop.
A second seizure at a shop in Longridge last month found 362 illegal DVDs and CDs being sold from under the counter.
The head of Lancashire County Council’s Trading Standards service, Paul Noone, said: “There are strict laws covering the supply and labelling of films, which exist to keep violent films out of the hands of children. The illegal trading in unlabelled movies as found in these two cases, undermines the efforts of enforcers to protect families.
“Of particular concern are goods where there are safety concerns, such as toys. Over the next two months we are likely to see large amounts of counterfeit toys hitting shops and markets.
“Customers should be aware counterfeits may not meet required safety standards.”
County Coun. Albert Atkinson, Cabinet member responsible for trading standards, added: “We are looking to send a clear message that the sale of counterfeit goods will not be tolerated in Lancashire.
“For those businesses who do obey the law, it is a real concern to see rival traders making money by offering shoddy products and avoiding taxes.
“It damages legitimate honest businesses who are already suffering due to the economic downturn.
“We would urge people not to buy, and to report any counterfeit goods they see for sale.
Trading Standards are warning consumers to be careful and if they suspect that goods being supplied may be counterfeit, to contact them via Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06.