London
09 January 2017
Reporter: Barney Dixon

Counterfeiter straightened out


A London man has been sentenced to 21 months in prison, suspended for two years, for counterfeiting.

Ashra Takawy, 53, ran a website via beautyobsessed.co.uk where he sold fake branded perfumes, cosmetics and hair straighteners. These items were marketed on internet auction rooms as genuine goods.

Detective Sergeant Gary Brown of the City of London Police’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) said: “This investigation and subsequent prosecution was aimed at protecting the public from inferior and sometimes dangerous items.”

“Fake hair straighteners have been known to present risk of personal injury and causing fires, whilst fake cosmetics and perfume have the potential to cause serious skin complaints.”

Takawy was arrested at his home on 21 May 2015 following the investigation, and a search of the property revealed 41 fake hair straighteners and 219 fake branded perfume bottles with a value of nearly £21,000.

He was convicted of three offences under the Fraud Act and Trade Marks Act, and one offence of money laundering under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Brown added: “We work with the cosmetic industry and its representatives to help reduce the sale of fake goods online.”

“Despite this work the public need to be aware that items that are significantly cheaper than at established retailers can often be fake goods.”

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