PEOPLE across Burton are being urged to ‘play their part’ in the battle to remove counterfeit alcohol and cigarettes from sale in the town.
Trading standards chiefs from Staffordshire County Council made the plea after £6,000 worth of illegal goods were recovered following a joint operation with Staffordshire Police at High Street News, in High Street, Burton.
This latest raid came following several during the past two years across the town which have seen massive fines handed to shop owners caught selling counterfeit goods.
A spokesman for trading standards said: “Counterfeiting is the very opposite of fair competition, where manufacturers compete with each other on the basis of quality and price.
“The counterfeiter sets out to make money by deception, deliberately assuming the identity of an already reputable manufacturer.
“This means that counterfeiters avoid both the costs incurred and the taxes payable by legitimate companies. Counterfeiters also pay no VAT.
“Many shoppers who knowingly buy fake goods will be shocked to learn that their money is going straight into the pockets of organised criminals, whose activities are damaging local communities through their links to organised crime, antisocial behaviour and exploitation.
“The link between the trade in counterfeit goods and organised crime such as people trafficking and the drugs trade is also well-established.”
Staffordshire Police revealed that investigations into its raid at High Street News were still ‘ongoing’.
It has also been revealed that nearly quarter of all cigarettes sold in the area illegal.
Anyone with information about counterfeit goods can call Staffordshire trading standards on 01785 330356 or by heading online to www.staffordshire.gov.uk/fakes