In the Media

158,000 smuggled fake trainers: CPS statement on fraud sentencing

PUBLISHED March 8, 2012

Sue Patten, Head of the CPS Central Fraud Group said: ?Smuggling and selling counterfeit goods is a serious criminal offence which in this case took advantage of people?s desires to be seen wearing the very latest statement in fashion footwear. This was also an offence that showed utter disregard for the damaging effects of organised crime on victims both in the UK and in China. ?Today?s sentences follow the successful prosecution of those responsible for smuggling a staggering 158,000 pairs of fake Nike trainers. This is one of the largest imports of counterfeit Nike trainers ever seized by the British authorities, amounting to a loss to the Trademark Holder in the region of ?4 million. ?Zoheir Habet, Mourad Abad, Elies Dehini and Sid Dehimi, part of an international web of career smugglers, were convicted of money laundering and conspiracy to breach the Tradesmark Act. Working with a China based criminal organisation, these four men smuggled a stock with a street level value of ?1.1 million. ?Between October and December 2009, three containers entered the UK shipped from China to Felixstowe. They contained Nike Air Max 90 and other different styles of counterfeit trainers. They were kept at self storage centres in Middlesex before being sold illegally at markets across London, undermining honest and hard working retailers and traders in the capital and farther afield. ?About ?450,000 in cash was seized from houses and safety deposit boxes during the arrests that followed. Sid Dehimi alone was found with ?35,000 cash hidden under his stairs. ?The prosecution for Operation Blackout saw lawyers from the CPS Central Fraud Group working with US and UK undercover officers from City of London Police, which mounted a large scale surveillance operation. This was an international operation with arrests carried out in US and Guam by the American Department of Justice.? The defendants were sentenced as follows: Elies Dehini to 5 years? imprisonment Mourad Abad to 5 years? imprisonment Sid Dehimi to 3.5 years? imprisonment Zoheir Habet will be sentenced on 2 April 2012.