Traders caught with £250k of fake headphones

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Two men have admitted their parts in the delivery of more than £250,000 of counterfeit goods destined for the streets of Lancashire.

It comes after couriers DHL alerted the North West Trading Standards Unit (NWTSU) to a suspicious shipment of Dr Dre branded headphones from Hong Kong, which was being sent to an address in Kirkham, near Preston.

Defendant John Colin Ford, 48, of Sunnybank, Kirkham, was arrested by Customs officers after being witnessed accepting the parcel.

Trading Standards chiefs then arrested Clitheroe market trader Wajid Mahmood, 29, of Clitheroe, for whom Ford had accepted the delivery.

The court heard the defendants had made the arrangement after “bumping into each other” on Preston market.

A total of 800 pairs of counterfeit headphones and 600 fake Ice branded watches were seized.

Prosecuting, Sarah Morgan said: “The NWTSU made a controlled delivery on September 16 and Ford was arrested. In interview he admitted receiving the headphones on behalf of Mahmood and had received no financial benefit.

“On October 30 Mahmood was arrested and his premises searched. Six boxes of Ice watches were recovered, He fully admitted the offences.”

Defending father-of-one Mahmood, Damien Pickup said he was in financial difficulty as a market trader with competition online, and his wife was undergoing IVF treatment.

He added: “He did not intend to sell them on the market, he was going to sell them on in bulk. He asked Mr Ford to take the delivery so his family did not know.”

Defending Ford, Sephton Lee added: “He had just returned from holiday and had a DHL card through the door. He accepted the shipment.”

Ford admits possessing goods with a false trademark while Mahmood admits two counts of the same offence.

The prosecution argues the earphones were valued at £224,000 and the watches at £36,000 but the defence argued the earphones were worth £64,000.

The men will be sentenced at Preston Crown Court on July 22.