£30m In Fake Goods Seized At Barras
24 May 2016, 06:00
More than £30 million of fake goods have been seized and 100 arrests made during a three-year crackdown on the Glasgow Barras.
Counterfeit clothing, shoes, bags, electronics, jewellery and tobacco - all labelled as designer gear - were found by police and Trading Standards officers during Operation Salang.
The campaign was set up to cut down on illegal counterfeit trade and protect the intellectual property of brands.
A number of stalls were removed from the Barras and new businesses are being encouraged to set up.
The Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council have allocated £5 million to regenerate the area.
Police Scotland said although selling fake goods can seem like a victimless crime, the proceeds often fund other criminal activities.
Chief inspector David Pettigrew said: "This operation has been a major success and I'm very pleased that this area, now free of criminal counterfeiters, will be regenerated. Legitimate business can now thrive in Barras Market once again.
"Members of the public can sometimes see the sale of counterfeit goods as a victimless crime.
"People should remember that although it may seem like a bargain, the proceeds from this illicit activity funds other types of criminality such as drug dealing and prostitution.''
The UK Intellectual Property Office - responsible for protecting patents, designs, trademarks and copyright - was involved in the operation.
Baroness Neville-Rolfe, Minister for Intellectual Property, said: "Barras Market has a bright future. Working with our partners we have ended the reign of criminality in this area.
"Legitimate businesses, previously undercut and threatened by counterfeit traders, are returning and I am very happy to see that the area is being regenerated.''
Trading Standards officer Linda Gray said: ``Regeneration of the area is well under way with #5 million specifically being allocated for on-going work.
"Six buildings which were previously empty are now being used for new ventures such as artists' studios with opportunities for young people.''