UK Border Force has warned festive shoppers against buying counterfeit goods online or from unofficial traders.
Officers have intercepted millions of pounds worth of fake goods at the UK’s ports and airports this year.
Children’s clothing and toys carrying images of Disney’s Frozen, GHD hair straighteners, Ugg boots and North Face coats are among the counterfeit goods detected this year.
Once counterfeit items are detained, Border Force’s specialist international trade teams work with the owners of big brands to establish whether or not goods are genuine. If they are fake the goods are destroyed and the rights holders can then decide whether to privately prosecute the importers.
Immigration and Security Minister James Brokenshire said: “Counterfeit goods leave customers out of pocket with inferior and possibly dangerous goods.
“The international trade in counterfeits is linked to serious and organised crime and undercuts honest traders, damaging our economy. We are determined to crack down on this criminality and have officers working 24 hours a day at ports, airports and mail sorting centres to identify these products before they can reach people’s homes.”
Border Force South Regional Director Carole Upshall said: “Everyone loves a bargain, but if the price appears too good to be true – either at a car boot sale, a market stall or online – it probably is.
“We are uncovering all sorts of fake goods, from beauty products to food and electrical goods. People should be particularly wary of buying cheap items online or from unofficial traders.”