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7 May 2015, 10:13 | Updated: 7 May 2015, 10:31
Peterborough City Council trading standards team investigated Bargain World UK Ltd, Unit 5, Second Drove Industrial Estate, following a complaint that the business was selling suspected counterfeit car parts.
Trading standards officers found over 20,000 counterfeit items, with an estimated value of over £180,000, with a large number of unsafe motorcycle helmets. Goods were being sold online through a number of retailers and on the company's own website.
The motorcycle helmets seized by trading standards failed after being subjected to two of five safety tests. Anybody wearing a helmet would have received an impact six times more forceful than permitted under legislation. Customers of the dangerous helmets were subsequently identified and contacted to make sure they were aware of the team's findings.
Moortaza Walji, of Bargain World UK Ltd, pleaded guilty to 15 charges regarding the unauthorised use of trademarks and sale of unsafe motorcycle helmets on 16 February 2015.
Sentenced in Peterborough Crown Court on Wednesday 6 May 2015 Walji was given a 6 month suspended jail sentence (suspended for 12 months) ordered to undertake 180 hours community service and to pay costs of £13,000.
A forfeiture and destruction order was made in respect of all the counterfeit items.
A substantial POCA award (Proceeds of Crime Act) of £182,000 has been made and will be repaid by the business as a result of the criminal activity. This award is in addition to the sentences and costs passed down by the court.
Donna Hall, public protection manager at Peterborough City Council, said: "This investigation is another great example of teams at the council working in partnership with the local community. We continue to work with the public, local traders and enforcement partners to ensure we stamp out illegal business practices in Peterborough.
"Purchasing counterfeit goods helps fund criminal organisations and can have a terrible effect on not only local businesses, but also the lives of those that purchase goods.
"This investigation has stopped a criminal counterfeiting enterprise worth thousands of pounds. It should send a clear warning to anyone who is considering a similar enterprise that you will get caught and brought to justice."