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Fake Nike trainers and designer clothes found at Wolverhampton fashion shop

By John Scott | Wolverhampton | News | Published:

Investigators found 329 separate counterfeit fashion items for sale when they raided a Wolverhampton shop, a judge heard.

Iwunoh Obryan, inset, who ran the Hugofid Fashion store in Dudley Road, Blakenhall

They ranged from trainers, watches and jewellery to designer handbags, shoes and sunglasses, the city's Crown Court was told.

The goods carried the fake trade marks of Nike, Adidas, Louis Vuitton, Michael Kors, North Face and Paul and Shark.

Mr Mark Jackson, prosecuting on behalf of Wolverhampton Council, said the Hugofid Fashion store in Dudley Road, Blakenhall, run by Iwunoh Zeal Obryan was 'all but bare' after the fake items had been seized.

The haul represented a £55,700 loss to the genuine trademark holders but many of the items were on sale for as little as £40, the court heard.

The 51-year-old Nigerian-born trader offered next day delivery of any counterfeit goods.

His business also sold items on a website and through Facebook.

Money was banked from test purchases from the website but nothing was sent in return.

Over 300 fake branded items including Nike trainers were found

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Mr Jackson continued: "This was a professional and, no doubt, profitable counterfeit business which sought to utilise the legitimacy of high street premises, as well as a web site and Facebook, to sell counterfeit designer goods.

"The fact that the defendant was able to offer a next day delivery service for counterfeit goods offers some insight into his proximity to whoever was supplying was supplying him."

Obryan declined to identify his source and told investigators he was 'just doing what everybody else does.'

He had only been in the country for one year eight months when the raid took place on December 19 2017 after a two and half month investigation. His home in Swinford Road, Park Village was also searched.

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The defendant was listed as the director of Ugofid UK Ltd which traded as Hugofid Fashion UK and Mr Jackson observed: "He is not a fit and proper person to hold such an office."

Mr Gerry Bermingham, defending, insisted: "This was a small shop. He is not a sophisticated trader. If he made £5 profit on each of the seized items it would only add up to £1,700.

"There is no evidence of a high volume of sales or good living on his part. He told me that in a good week he made £200.He is a man of straw with no assets."

Some of the fake haul

Obryan pleaded guilty to fraudulently trading, distributing and possessing goods with false trade marks.

He received a ten month jail term suspended for 18 months and was ordered to do 240 hours unpaid work.

He was banned from becoming a company director for seven years and Ugofid UK Ltd was fined £5,679 after admitting similar offences to the defendant who claimed it was no longer in operation.

Judge Rhona Campbell told him: "Your small retail premises was packed with goods that were nearly all counterfeit.

"These made up the mainstay of what was being held in your stock and a level of deterrence is important to let people know this type of offence is taken seriously by the courts.

"The £55,700 figure put on the seized items is not the benefit to you but the potential loss to those who hold the legitimate trade mark for the goods."

Following the hearing, Paul Dosanjh, who heads trading standards at Wolverhampton Council, said: “This was a commercial operation selling high value designer goods to the public.

"Selling and supplying counterfeit items is a serious crime that not only deceives customers but also robs the public purse of much needed revenue and businesses who are trying to earn an honest living.

"I hope today’s success sends out a message to those who are funding this illegal trade that we are serious about clamping down on the sale of illegal products.

"I encourage anyone who knows of any counterfeit items being sold to report it, so we can work together to put a stop to this illegal trade and prosecute those who continue to break the law at the expense of others.”

John Scott

By John Scott
Reporter/News Feature Writer

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