Three year Barras crackdown recovers over £30m in fake goods

Police have recovered �30m in fake goods from Barras market in Glasgow. Picture: John Devlin/JP Licence
Police have recovered �30m in fake goods from Barras market in Glasgow. Picture: John Devlin/JP Licence
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More than £30 million of fake goods have been seized and 100 arrests made during a three-year crackdown on the Glasgow Barras.

Counterfeit clothing, shoes, bags, electronics, jewellery and tobacco - all labelled as designer gear - were found by police and Trading Standards officers during Operation Salang.

Goods seized from Glasgow's Barras market during a three-year crackdown. Picture: Handout

Goods seized from Glasgow's Barras market during a three-year crackdown. Picture: Handout

The campaign was set up to cut down on illegal counterfeit trade and protect the intellectual property of brands.

A number of stalls were removed from the Barras and new businesses are being encouraged to set up.

The Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council have allocated £5 million to regenerate the area.

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Police Scotland said although selling fake goods can seem like a victimless crime, the proceeds often fund other criminal activities.

Chief inspector David Pettigrew said: “This operation has been a major success and I’m very pleased that this area, now free of criminal counterfeiters, will be regenerated. Legitimate business can now thrive in Barras Market once again.

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“Members of the public can sometimes see the sale of counterfeit goods as a victimless crime.

“People should remember that although it may seem like a bargain, the proceeds from this illicit activity funds other types of criminality such as drug dealing and prostitution.”

The UK Intellectual Property Office - responsible for protecting patents, designs, trademarks and copyright - was involved in the operation.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe, Minister for Intellectual Property, said: “Barras Market has a bright future. Working with our partners we have ended the reign of criminality in this area.

“Legitimate businesses, previously undercut and threatened by counterfeit traders, are returning and I am very happy to see that the area is being regenerated.”

Trading Standards officer Linda Gray said: “Regeneration of the area is well under way with £5 million specifically being allocated for on-going work.

“Six buildings which were previously empty are now being used for new ventures such as artists’ studios with opportunities for young people.”