FAKE poppy merchandise worth £150,000 destined for Manchester in the build-up to Remembrance Sunday has been seized by UK Border Force.
The haul, which originated in China, included jewellery, keyrings and scarves, some of them branded with the words ‘Lest We Forget’.
Border Force acting deputy director Mark Kennedy said: “Had these fake goods entered the market they could have cheated thousands of pounds from unsuspecting members of the public and diverted vital funds away from the Royal British Legion.”
The items were seized on November 8 when officers from the Border Force mobile international trade team based at Tilbury Docks examined an air freight consignment from China.
The shipment, destined for an address in the Manchester area, contained packages of poppy branded goods including 1,212 scarves, 5,400 badges and 1,200 keyrings.
Some were later found to have infringed the Royal British Legion’s ‘two-petal poppy’ copyright.
Officers also discovered 600 four-petal brooches which infringed the ‘four-petal’ copyright held by Poppyscotland.
Mr Kennedy added: “My officers work around the clock at ports, airports and mail sorting centres identifying and seizing counterfeit goods and their diligence has proved vital here.
“All counterfeits cheat honest traders and we are determined to crack down on this type of criminality. Border Force works closely with partner law enforcement agencies to ensure co-ordinated action against those who attempt to import fake goods.”
Anyone who has been sold counterfeit goods or knows someone who is selling is asked to contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.