Over £2 million of counterfeit clothing has been seized in the Cheetham Hill area of Greater Manchester during a multi-agency operation targeting organised crime.
Police, Trading Standards and HMRC worked together under Operation Challenger on intelligence received, searching six addresses including businesses, private houses and storage units.
The agencies detained a total of six people for immigration offences, failure to appear at court, disqualified driving and on suspicion of assault.
Five vehicles were also seized for invalid or no insurance.
Potential victims of modern slavery were identified and signposted to the appropriate services to receive protection and support to rehabilitate them / Agencies were also looking for people thought to be victims of modern slavery, ready to offer specialist support if needed.
The week of action was also supported by other agencies including Immigration, Border Force, GMFRS and DVLA.
Chief Inspector Denise Pye from Greater Manchester Police said: “A week of action like this reinforces our commitment to cracking down on organised crime here in Greater Manchester.
“Members of organised crime groups are often involved in the production and selling of counterfeit goods to fund further criminal activity. By disrupting their plans at this stage, we are potentially preventing these criminals from committing more serious crimes in future.
“Our priority is to protect members of the community who are honest and law-abiding, allowing them to go about their lives without their safety feeling compromised.
“I would like to take this opportunity to appeal to members of the public who have knowledge of criminal activity like this happening, to report it to the Police on 999 in an emergency, 101 in a non-emergency, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”
Councillor Nigel Murphy, Manchester City Council executive member for neighbourhoods said, “This has been an incredibly successful week of action and millions of pounds worth of counterfeit goods have been taken out of circulation. This activity forms part of increased multi-agency effort to tackle criminality in the area over the last 18 months.
“The supply and distribution of fake goods has links to the wider criminal world, by cracking down on counterfeiters we both protect the public from potentially dangerous products and hit criminals where it hurts.”
Residents and business owners in the nearby area have since received reassurance letters from Police, informing them of the activity undertaken and the reasons why.
For more information on counterfeit goods and the signs to look out for, visit the Trading Standards website