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On Sunday 22 January 2023, officers from Operation Vulcan were conducting patrols on Moulton Street, Manchester.
Whilst on patrol the officers spotted four men emptying a shop of suspected counterfeit goods.
Officers searched their van and inside found large quantities of prescription medications and thousands of pounds worth of suspected counterfeit clothing.
The four were subsequently arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply Class C drugs and distribution of articles infringing trademarks.
Inspector Andy Torkington of GMP Operation Vulcan said: “This week we cleared out a further three units housing counterfeit shops that were discovered by our officers.
“Our work didn’t stop there either – our officers then attended a home address of one of the shop owners and there discovered huge storage quantities of suspected counterfeit goods and also seized around £6,000 in cash.
“The police presence in the Cheetham Hill and Strangeways area is relentless. I believe our activity is starting to make a real difference and is making it more difficult for criminals to operate in the area.
“Our officers are on the lookout for anyone who may be shifting counterfeit goods to intercept and prevent offenders from transferring criminal activity elsewhere.
“Operation Vulcan is not confined to Cheetham Hill and Strangeways – whilst I’m pleased to see disruption in criminal activity, this is not about moving the problem elsewhere.
“Counterfeit crime brings with it serious and violent criminality and we will therefore continue to squeeze and target offenders until they desist or we put them in jail.”
Marcus Evans, the Intellectual Property Office’s Deputy Director of Intelligence and Law Enforcement, said: “As well as being illegal, counterfeit goods cause real social and environmental harms, and damage legitimate traders. Such goods are often unsafe or defective, undermine consumer confidence and help sustain serious and organised criminality.
“We are pleased to support this activity to clamp down on the sale of such illicit goods, working in partnership to help protect communities from this type of crime. We continue to work with our partners to raise awareness of the dangers of illicit counterfeits, helping empower consumers to make informed choices and disrupting criminal activity”.