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14 December 2012, 14:00
Border Force officers have seized thousands of fake football shirts at a postal depot near Heathrow Airport.
The shirts, including replica kits from Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool, were detected at the Heathrow Worldwide Distribution Centre (HWDC), the Royal Mail's international postal hub in Langley, Berkshire.
Almost all were in individual packets which had been purchased on the internet and were destined for UK addresses. The majority had been made in the Far East (predominantly Thailand) and were shipped via Germany or Sweden.
Some had even been personalised with names printed on the back. Online shoppers had paid around £20 a shirt when their normal retail price should have been around £40-50.
All those that are confirmed counterfeit will be destroyed and it is likely that those who bought them will lose their money.
Tony Smith, Interim Director General of Border Force, said:
"Border Force's job is to protect the public by securing our border. Our officers up and down the country work to prevent harmful and counterfeit goods getting into the UK and damaging our legitimate businesses.
"It is easy to think you are getting a bargain, but our message is that if something appears too good to be true it probably is.
"You could end up out of pocket - but even worse you could end up with a fake product that is inferior and could be harmful or unsafe."
During a two month period in October and November almost four thousand shirts were detected by Border Force at HWDC. Since then several hundred more suspected counterfeit shirts have been detained and are awaiting confirmation of their status.
You can get more information at: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/passports-and-immigration/counterfeit-goods/