Counterfeiter ordered to go straight

By on 04/02/2010 in News

A Birmingham man has received 9 months imprisonment suspended for a period of 2 years at Birmingham Crown Court for a plot to flood the city with fake GHD hair straighteners.

Wei Wang, from Holliday Street in the city centre, was charged with possessing 1,500 counterfeit GHD items, following a joint raid at various addresses, including a storage unit and his home, by officers from Birmingham City Council Trading Standards and West Midlands Police.

Wei Wang was arrested at his home address, where officers discovered documents linking him to a storage unit in Clyde Street and a Mini Cooper vehicle. At the storage unit, officers seized 1,000 counterfeit straighteners, all bearing the false trade description GHD. Police officers searched the vehicle and found boxes of counterfeit GHD hair brushes and a large quantity of cash.

Councillor Neil Eustace, Chairman of Public Protection Committee at Birmingham City Council, said:

“This would have been a lucrative business, had Wei Wang not been caught. The recorder noted that this case involved a significant degree of planning, and involved rental of premises and organised importation.

This type of activity undermines legitimate businesses and jobs, as well as misleading the public. These fake straighteners would also not have passed rigorous BSI safety standards, so pose a potential risk to the consumer.”

Wei Wang pleaded guilty to 7 offences under the Trade Marks Act 1994, notably:

250 GHD Box sets
500 GHD plastic logos
499 GHD Hair Straighteners
313 GHD Brushes
43 Mont Blanc Pens
13 Louis Vuitton accessories
17 Prada accessories

In passing sentence the Recorder stated that the case passed the custody threshold as it is so serious that a fine or community penalty alone would not be appropriate.

He imposed a sentence of 9 months imprisonment suspended for a period of 2 years with the following conditions:

1. He must not commit any offence
2. He must keep in touch with the probation service
3. He must undertake 300 hours of unpaid work in the community

A forfeiture order was made in respect of all of the counterfeit items and a contribution towards costs was ordered in the sum of £2000.

ENDS

For more information please contact Hayley Meachin on 0121 303 1271/ 07920 750007  hayley.meachin@birmingham.gov.uk

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