Counterfeit goods worth record £870m found as police raid shipping containers in Manchester | UK News

A record-breaking haul of counterfeit items worth an estimated £870m has been seized by police.

More than 580 tonnes of clothes, drugs, tobacco, vapes and Nitrous Oxide canisters were found in 207 shipping containers in Manchester.

Police said the “monumental” stash was the largest seizure in UK history, the largest in Europe in nearly two decades and one of the biggest globally.

It took two weeks for more than a 100 people – police, brand experts and a security company – to crack open the containers and process the fake gear.

A covert operation and intelligence led to the find on the outskirts of the Cheetham Hill area.

An investigation is now under way into the source of the goods and to arrest those involved.

Detective Inspector Christian Julien, from Operation Vulcan, said it put Greater Manchester Police “in the top three worldwide for a single seizure of counterfeit items”.

He added: “It isn’t a bargain so please be under no illusions – this type of crime is not victimless.

Pic: Greater Manchester Police
Pic: Greater Manchester Police

“Criminals are making vast amounts of money from this trade which is being funnelled into fuelling further criminality, exploitation, and misery not just in Manchester, but across the world.”

Manchester police also found more than 200 tonnes of fake goods in a storage facility in nearby Strangeways in 2021.

As well as designer goods, the discovery included factories that were making perfume using chemicals including screen wash and white spirit.