Record £1.3m fake Apple products seized in raid

Fake Apple products.
Fake Apple products.

More than a million pounds worth of fake Apple products have been seized after a fake charger was discovered at a Haywards Heath shop.

West Sussex Trading Standards said it had undertaken the biggest seizure in its history after £1.3m worth of fake chargers, batteries, cables, headphones and adapters were recovered from a warehouse in London.

Fake Apple products.

Fake Apple products.

Six months ago the team received a call about an overheating charger which had been bought from a shop in Haywards Heath.

It was branded as an official Apple product and priced at £59.

Trading Standards carried out a test purchase at the store after the customer complained about how hot it became when charging her Apple Macbook at home.

The charger was later confirmed to be unsafe and fake by Apple.

Fake Apple products.

Fake Apple products.

Trading Standards said an investigation led officers to another store in Brighton and on to a warehouse in Kingston-upon-Thames.

Nine Trading Standards officers along with Apple investigators and the Metropolitan Police raided the London warehouse on Tuesday, August 1.

A spokesman said: “Over a million pounds worth of fake stock was recovered in the operation.

“Products were instantly recognised as fakes because many had the same serial numbers – a tell-tale sign as all official Apple products carry unique serial numbers to identify them.”

West Sussex Trading Standards Team Manager Richard Sargeant said: “This operation uncovered the highest value haul of fake products we have ever been involved in.

“It is so important for two reasons.

“Firstly we need to protect consumers from purchasing potentially unsafe products.

“And secondly recovering £1.3m of fake goods helps protect those traders who sell genuine Apple products from being undermined in the market place.”

West Sussex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Stronger, Safer Communities, Debbie Kennard, said: “Hats off to the Trading Standards team for recovering such a vast amount of illegal goods.

“It demonstrates the value of reporting anything suspicious to us, either by phone or by email.

“So please contact Trading Standards via Citizens Advice on 03454 04 05 06 or online via www.westsussex.gov.uk/tsreport if you think something is wrong.”