Trader caught selling fake phone covers in York had 15,000 in his basement

Library picture of phone covers. Photograph © Jen on Wikipedia
13 Apr 2017 @ 9.31 pm
| News

A street trader who sold counterfeit phone covers in York was found to have more than 15,000 in his basement.

Fake brands sold by Ndiasse Faye included Dior, Apple, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Adidas, Manchester United and Disney.

He was caught when City of York Council trading standards officers bought a smartphone case from him in Coney Street.

They paid £6 in March 2015 for what was supposedly an Apple product. Later the same day, officers visited the stall and seized 860 items which officers suspected were counterfeit.

The goods included cases for smartphones and tablets, plus accessories.

Racked up

Faye was back selling fake products in York the following month. This prompted trading standards officers, along with officers from West Yorkshire Police, to visit his home address in Nowell Parade, Leeds.

There they found his basement set out like a shop, with all the phone covers arranged on racks by fake brand. They seized 15,223 branded phone and tablet covers.

Shoppers on Coney Street. Photograph: YorkMix

On a separate raid to Faye’s storage unit in Leeds, they seized a further 10K of covers.

Invoices found at the unit showed Faye was buying the phone cases at about 20p each. Had he sold them all at £6 each he would have made a profit in the region of £156,760.

‘Blatant case’

Faye pleaded guilty to 11 charges of selling counterfeit goods at York Magistrates’ Court.

He was given a 12-week prison sentence, suspended for one year, with the requirement he also undertakes 300 hours unpaid work. Mr Faye was also fined a total of £1,280.

Cllr Nigel Ayre, who has responsibility for trading standards at the council, said:

Our trading standards team doggedly investigated this blatant case of selling fake goods to protect the public from buying substandard items which also break trademark laws.

Its persistence shows that we will not tolerate these kind of illegal sales and that we will defend shoppers from being duped and we will protect the integrity of legitimate businesses.