Counterfeiter caught in the headlights

The company director of an eBay business featured on BBC's Fake Britain for selling counterfeit headlights and being caught by Brent Council's Trading Standards Team has been fined £5,500.

Mr Jakub Marek had been selling counterfeit headlights for over three years, raking in over £450,000.The Council was tipped off by a customer that the headlights in question could be counterfeit products and a large-scale investigation followed. Four test purchases were made by the team which came to just shy of £140 and sent to Germany to ascertain their authenticity. The two manufacturers in questions - Phillips and OSRAM confirmed that the products on sale were indeed, counterfeit - writes brent.gov.uk.

A search warrant was obtained with early morning raids taking place at two addresses in Wembley and Luton with council officers accompanied by both the Police and brand experts, one of which had travelled all the way from Germany. Over 1400 products were seized.

Mr Marek, who had moved to Poland during the investigation, was then summoned back to the UK to Willesden Magistrates Court where he pled guilty to 5 charges of selling and possessing counterfeit headlights and packaging. He was fined £700 for each count and ordered to pay £5,500 in costs and a £70 victim surcharge.

Cllr Tom Miller, Cabinet Member for Stronger Communities, said:

"This trader was one of Europe's largest suppliers of counterfeit headlights. Not only was this business profiting from dodgy knock-offs but it put consumers at risk. The team worked extremely hard on this investigation to ensure that justice was served.

"I hope this case is a reminder that we do not tolerate this kind of trading and encourages others thinking of profiteering from counterfeit products to think twice - be it in shops, on the street or online.

"If businesses have doubts about goods they are thinking of selling, they must contact Trading Standards who will be more than willing to give advice and ensure everything is legitimate."

Richard Armstrong, Business Manager atPhilips Lighting, said:

"Our customers should expect the highest quality performance from their Philips car light bulbs and I hope this action demonstrates that we will not tolerate counterfeiting of our products.

"I would like to express my grateful thanks to all members of the team that we worked with at Brent Trading Standards who worked extremely hard to bring this individual to justice."

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