Fake car accessories worth more than £10,000 have been seized by officers from Lancashire County Council Trading Standards service following raids on three addresses in Chorley and Leyland.
Trading Standards Officers from Lancashire County Council joined forces with the police on Monday, December 15 to serve warrants on two houses and a factory suspected of being used in an operation to sell counterfeits over the internet.
The fake goods seized included floor mats, and embroidered badges. They had been branded with the logos of manufacturers including Renault, Mini, Vauxhall, and BMW.
A number of business names were found to link back to just one factory, suggesting that customers would be comparing prices online between goods from the same supplier, but sold using different names. A number of complaints from customers about the quality of the goods purchased were also found.
Investigations are continuing into the seizure while officers consider possible charges under trademarks legislation for the organisers, who were trading on the internet including via a popular auction site.
Police say, those involved are believed to have earned many thousands of pounds from selling the fakes as genuine items on the internet - just one of the limited companies involved brought in £29,000 in the last month.
County Coun Janice Hanson, cabinet member for public protection services, said: “We wish to see a level playing field for honest Lancashire retailers who sell genuine goods.
“In today’s tough economic climate, the council will continue to work hard to protect our legitimate shopkeepers by removing illegal operators from the marketplace, and particularly at this time of year, to protect our residents from the misery of opening shoddy unsatisfactory presents on Christmas day.”