Gardai have made their second large seizure of counterfeit goods they believe were destined for the lucrative Christmas market, with a €200,000 haul found in the back of a truck in Dublin.
Gardai believe the goods had been smuggled into the Republic for sale here and that a group of criminals including by Asian and Irish men were behind the crime.
The latest seizure followed approximately 15,000 counterfeit items being seized last month, with that consignment valued at about €300,000. Both seizures were intelligence-led and were part of Operation Bannister, which is a dedicated inquiry targeting counterfeit goods and intellectual property crime.
The latest find was made when gardai moved in on a lorry that was under surveillance in south Dublin on Tuesday, with the back of the vehicle found fill with goods that gardai believe were all produced on the black economy.
The haul included clothing, sportswear, perfume and candles; including high quality copies of very expensive luxury branded goods. No arrests were made and gardai were investigating the origins of the goods and how they were due to distributed in Ireland.
The seizure was made by members of the Intellectual Property Crime Unit within the Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation (GNBCI), who searched the articulated lorry at about 11am on Tuesday.
Assistant Commissioner John O’Driscoll, who leads the Garda’s Organised and Serious Crime section, said people needed to be aware of compromises in safety and standards when buying goods that may be counterfeit.
“As we approach Christmas people should ensure they purchase gifts from reliable and legitimate sources,” Mr O’Driscoll said. “This seizure is significant as it prevents a consignment of counterfeit and substandard products entering the market and being purchased by unsuspecting persons.
“The counterfeit candles and perfumes, in particular, give rise to potential safety risks for purchasers, who will be unaware of the true nature of these products.”
In a separate but similar search operation last month at commercial premises in Dublin gardai uncovered what was described as “a significant quantity” of counterfeit products, and as well as the ear phones and console handsets , USB Plugs, phone chargers and “a vast amount of branded packaging” was also seized.
Gardaí estimated that as many as 15,000 counterfeit items and 10,000 pieces of branded packaging bearing particular brand names was seized along with hard drives and mobile phones as well as documentation.