Thousands of pounds of counterfeit luxury items have been seized after a specialist operation in County Durham.

Earlier this week, a large haul of knock-off clothing items and trainers, estimated to be worth tens of thousands of pounds, were confiscated from a unit by trading standards officers.

The goods, which included clothing, trainers, bedding and perfumes, were recovered from a storage facility in Chester-le-Street by officers from Durham County Council.

The Northern Echo: A selection of the seized itemsA selection of the seized items (Image: DURHAM COUNTY COUNCIL)

Two large vans full of items were seized, including fake designer goods making unauthorised use of many well-known trademarks, including Nike, Adidas and Gucci.

The items came to light as part of an ongoing investigation by the council, which calculates that it confiscated over 1,500 items.

The Northern Echo: The items are believed to be worth tens of thousands of poundsThe items are believed to be worth tens of thousands of pounds (Image: DURHAM COUNTY COUNCIL)

Initial estimates suggest that the fraudulent items could be worth tens of thousands of pounds, but the substantial quantities involved mean that the final quantity and value of the goods, as well as details of all infringed trademarks, will not be known until a later stage of the investigation.

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A council spokesperson said: “Counterfeiting is far from being a victimless crime, having an impact on jobs in the legitimate manufacturing and retail sector. The trade in counterfeit goods can also be linked to other organised crime.

“Counterfeit goods can pose safety problems for consumers – with goods such as toys, cosmetics, electrical equipment and chargers, not being subjected to testing and not manufactured to meet safety standards.

“Sales via the internet and social media are popular with consumers seeking bargains for Christmas - we would urge the public to check out the retailer and only buy from reputable sources to avoid the risk of disappointment of poor quality and potentially unsafe goods being bought as gifts.”