Express & Star

Birmingham man jailed for selling counterfeit designer goods from 'beauty salon'

A Birmingham man who sold counterfeit designer goods from a "beauty salon" has been jailed after being found guilty of trademark offences.

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Counterfeit goods were found during a raid of a shop on Stratford Road in 2018

Saqlain Nawaz of Dovey Road, Birmingham, was handed a 27-month custodial sentence at Birmingham Crown Court on Tuesday.

The 31-year-old operated at a shop on Stratford Road in Sparkhill, where large quantities of counterfeit designer goods were supplied.

A haul of counterfeit designer goods were also seized from a shop at The Souk Shopping Centre

Officers from the National Trading Standards Regional Investigation Team Central England, Birmingham City Council Trading Standards department, West Midlands Police and the Anti-Counterfeiting Group first discovered the offences during a raid in July 2018.

The inside of the store on Stratford Road in Sparkhill

It came as part of Operation Beorma, which is an ongoing investigation led by National Trading Standards RIT and Birmingham Trading Standards targeting organised crime groups involved in the importation, manufacturing and distribution of counterfeit goods.

Upon entering the store – a former beauty salon – investigators seized a vast range of high-value counterfeit goods including clothing, footwear, electrical items, perfumes and accessories.

The brands that were being copied included Nike, Adidas, Moncler, Stone Island, Louis Vuitton and Hermes.

Mr Nawaz was linked to the offending when officers discovered promotional flyers advertising the business "Designer4Less", which included a telephone number that was registered to him.

The offender had also entered into a tenancy agreement for the shop using his own name, despite supplying a false address.

He was caught again in December 2019 operating from a unit within The Souk Shopping Centre on Stratford Road, Sparkhill, with more clothing, footwear and accessories seized.

Lord Michael Bichard, chair of National Trading Standards, said: "As part of Operation Beorma, trading standards officers and partner organisations are successfully tackling the illicit trade in counterfeit goods.

"Counterfeiting is not a victimless crime and I'm delighted this ongoing operation has once again brought to justice a criminal supplying these products and undermining legitimate businesses.

"If you or someone you know has purchased a counterfeit product or suspects someone is selling counterfeits, report it to the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133."

A proceeds of crime application will now follow.