A HAUL of counterfeit goods including clothing, perfume, headphones, illegal cigarettes and alcohol, has been destroyed.

The items were confiscated by Sunderland City Council’s Trading Standards Officers and are estimated to have a ‘street’ value of around £75,000.

The items were seized from retail premises and outside of public events held across the city.

Counterfeit clothing was confiscated from traders operating outside concerts at the Stadium of Light, and unsafe toys were seized from the city centre, during events - many of the items were also seized from private residential addresses.

The illegal products were taken away to be recycled or destroyed, sending a clear message to anyone involved in operating a business where counterfeit or otherwise illegal goods are being sold, that they will be caught, and their goods will be seized.

The proceeds of counterfeiting often go towards funding organised crime, and the illegal ingredients used in counterfeit cigarettes and alcohol are potentially fatal.

Destroying the goods not only removes them from sale, but also demonstrates that counterfeiting will not be tolerated.

Councillor Amy Wilson, Sunderland City Council's Cabinet member for environment and transport, said: “I hope this sends out the strongest possible message to counterfeiters that we are prepared to pursue and prosecute anyone involved with the distribution and sale of counterfeit goods, and we will confiscate and destroy illegal products.

“Some people may think the selling of counterfeit goods is a victimless crime, but quite often these goods are a product of organised crime.

“Groups can supply them into the region with the purpose of making money, which enables them continue funding illicit activities.

“Destroying these items today is another step towards protecting the public against goods which may look like a bargain but in reality are very poor quality, and to prevent the proceeds from the sales being used to fund other criminal activity.”