Police seize $1.69M in fake Apple accessories from London warehouse in Trading Standards r...

Posted:
in iPhone edited August 2017
A collection of fake Apple products estimated to be worth £1.3 million ($1.69 million) were seized from a warehouse in London on Tuesday, with the raid by UK police and local Trading Standards officials confiscating a large collection of imitation Apple chargers, batteries, and other items.




The raid followed a six-month investigation by West Sussex Trading Standards, after it received a complaint about an Apple-branded charger sold from an undisclosed store in Haywards Heath. The customer told Trading Standards they were alarmed by the way the charger, sold for £59 ($76.90), overheated when used to power their MacBook.

Trading Standards followed up the query by carrying out a test purchase from the same store, with the charger later confirmed by Apple as both a fake and unsafe to use. Further investigation took officials to another store in Brighton, East Sussex, which led to a warehouse in Kingston-upon-Thames.

An entry warrant for the warehouse was executed on August 1 by nine Trading Standards officers and members of the Metropolitan Police, with Apple investigators also in attendance to aid with searching the warehouse. The discovered fake goods, which included headphones, batteries, chargers, and assorted cables and adapters, is said to be the biggest seizure in West Sussex Trading Standards history.

Officials claim the products were "instantly recognized" as fake due to their serial numbers. While all official Apple products have unique serial numbers for identification purposes, as do other manufacturers, investigators noted many of the items they seized shared the same serial number.




West Sussex Trading Standards team manager Richard Sargeant advised the successful operation was important for two reasons. "Firstly, we need to protect consumers from purchasing potentially unsafe products and secondly recovering 1.3 million of fake goods helps protect those traders who sell genuine Apple products from being undermined in the marketplace."

Debbie Kennard, the West Sussex County Council cabinet member for Stronger, Safer Communities, praised the Trading Standards team for recovering "such a vast amount" of illegal merchandise. "It demonstrates the value of reporting anything suspicious to us, either by phone or by email.'

Accessories for iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks have become a lucrative targets for criminals producing fake goods due to the company's popularity, a problem that has forced Apple warn consumers about the counterfeit products on a regular basis. Apple's crackdown on the practice has previously included lawsuits against fake accessory vendors violating its copyrights and trademarks, alongside action by law enforcement officials.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 21
    pujones1pujones1 Posts: 155member
    This makes me think about places like Groupon which sells Apple accessories for a deep discount. I never trust them. You have to read the fine print or ask direct questions to them. 
    anton zuykovmagman1979
  • Reply 2 of 21
    glynhglynh Posts: 132member
    Or even the mighty Amazon.
    ronn
  • Reply 3 of 21
    I wonder what country they were made in?
  • Reply 4 of 21
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,989administrator
    I wonder what country they were made in?
    Probably the same ones Apple makes theirs in.
    coolfactorronnchia
  • Reply 5 of 21
    If they're not genuine Apple products, then I would say they're worth nothing. I don't believe counterfeit products have any value. Glad these were seized.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 21
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,503member
    This is...

    wait for it...

    ...

    Fake News.
    singularity
  • Reply 7 of 21
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,576member
    How many people were arrested and thrown in the slammer? People that willfully try to deceive people should be assigned hard labour for many years.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 21
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,496member
    "Made In China"
  • Reply 9 of 21
    If they're not genuine Apple products, then I would say they're worth nothing. I don't believe counterfeit products have any value. Glad these were seized.
    Yeah, I was wondering how many crappy rip-offs it would take to get up to a value of 1.3m pounds. Great to see someone doing something about it. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 21
    Well done the UK authorities.

    These fraudsters are not only stealing money from both Apple and its customers, they're endangering them too. I hope they catch a very bad cold from this.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 21
    Now, how about paying more in UK taxes, Apple? It helps with policing and protecting your profits. So, please tell your creative accountants to stump up the dosh, Tim.
  • Reply 12 of 21
    I wonder what country they were made in?
    Fake products made in a fake country makes for fake news...
  • Reply 13 of 21
    If they're not genuine Apple products, then I would say they're worth nothing. I don't believe counterfeit products have any value. Glad these were seized.
    Yeah, I was wondering how many crappy rip-offs it would take to get up to a value of 1.3m pounds. Great to see someone doing something about it. 
    They valued the fake as real Apple products. And you know how expensive it is.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 21
    metrixmetrix Posts: 253member
    I find it difficult to take declining Apple sales in China for face value since counterfeiting is so prevalent and authorities look the other way.
    watto_cobraronn
  • Reply 15 of 21
    As much as I enjoy saving some coin, for certain items I prefer the peace of mind purchasing directly from Apple either online or taking the 30 minute ride to their nearest store. 
    ronn
  • Reply 16 of 21
    dinonicoladinonicola Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    One of the most effective ways to fight the fake markets is to uniquely serialize the original goods and empower the customers to check the goods. Serialization is maybe the most powerful and cost effective anti-counterfeit solution, the one offered by my-validactor are immediately available, easy to implement and at a cost near to zero.
  • Reply 17 of 21
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,443member
    As much as I enjoy saving some coin, for certain items I prefer the peace of mind purchasing directly from Apple either online or taking the 30 minute ride to their nearest store. 
    Especially some of these fake chargers can destroy your device and even kill you.
  • Reply 18 of 21
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,443member
    I wonder what country they were made in?
    I was going to joke and say South Korea and then realized that wasn't all that funny ....  they at least change the name. ;)
  • Reply 19 of 21
    macguimacgui Posts: 1,518member
    glynh said:
    Or even the mighty Amazon.
    Amazon seems to be a clearing house for counterfeit products from several manufacturers.



    If they're not genuine Apple products, then I would say they're worth nothing. I don't believe counterfeit products have any value. Glad these were seized.
    Despite their intrinsic value (or worthlessness) they are valued at the retail prices the genuine articles would fetch if the assumption is that they're to be sold at retail pricing. Authorities made purchases of the fake items so I would assume they know what the consumer was expected to pay.

    The 'worth' of counterfeit goods is always based on the potential cost to the consumer.
    ronnstompy
  • Reply 20 of 21
    If they're not genuine Apple products, then I would say they're worth nothing. I don't believe counterfeit products have any value. Glad these were seized.
    Yeah, I was wondering how many crappy rip-offs it would take to get up to a value of 1.3m pounds. Great to see someone doing something about it. 
    They tend to use genuine retail figures for stuff like this which never made sense to me. 

    Wouldn't be surprised if the "warehouse" was indeed one of the Amazon dispatch warehouses - among the items I've received "fullfilled by amazon", has been 2x fake apple cases and previously returned/broken items sold as "new".
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