Counterfeit clothing seller sentenced

Posted on Wednesday 24th January 2018
Yes Clearance counterfeit goods court case jan 2018

Some of the seized goods

An online seller of counterfeit clothing  who pleaded guilty to offences under the Trade Mark Act 1994 has been sentenced to nine weeks in custody suspended for 12 months.

Alireza Balmeh, previously trading as Yes Clearance, appeared at Cwmbran Magistrates Court on 18 December 2017.

The case was adjourned until 19 January 2018 where as well as the suspended sentence he was also ordered to pay costs of £2,342 to Newport City Council, £140 victim surcharge and forfeiture of all seized items with an estimated value of £65,000.

The prosecution, brought by Newport City Council trading standards department followed an investigation into the trading activities of Newport based Balmeh.

In May 2016 a member of the public purchased Abercrombie and Fitch and Ralph Lauren polo shirts from Balmeh’s Yes Clearance website.

Suspicious about the quality of the polo shirts, the member of the public reported the matter to Newport City Council trading standards department.

Following a preliminary investigation a warrant was exercised at a Newport address used by Balmeh in September 2016 when a large quantity of counterfeit clothing was seized, together with computers and business documentation.

Clothing brands seized included Fred Perry, Hugo Boss and Calvin Klein in addition to the previously complained about Abercrombie and Fitch and Ralph Lauren.

Included in the seized business documents was a letter from the UK Border Force informing Balmeh that they had detained a consignment of Ralph Lauren polo shirts they suspected as being counterfeit.

More than 1,200 items of clothing were seized from Balmeh with an estimated retail value in excess of £65,000.

Councillor Ray Truman, Newport City Council’s Cabinet Member for Licensing and Regulation said: “We support legitimate businesses and council tax payers by taking robust action against sellers of counterfeit goods. Such people have little regard to the effect their activities have on the local and national economy.

“The sale of such counterfeit products threatens law abiding businesses and citizens on many levels; retailers face unfair competition and consumers get a bad deal and an inferior product.

“We will continue to support local businesses and protect Newport citizens by taking firm action against such illegal activity and by promoting our Fake Free Newport campaign.”

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