Hip Hop Land is hit hard by trading standards

10:07am Friday 17th November 2006

A Croydon trader caught selling thousands of pounds of counterfeit clothing in his town centre shop has appeared before local magistrates following an investigation by the council's trading standards department.

Trading standards enforcement officers visited Hip Hop Land, trading at Tramms Indoor Market, Church Street, in November last year.

The owner, Safiulla Umed was present when officers found items of clothing bearing well-known brand names on display for sale.

The items were subsequently examined and found to be counterfeit.

As a result of a second complaint, trading standards officers and police visited the shop once more in March 2006, where they again found counterfeit clothing.

The estimated value of the goods seized during the two visits was £18,000.

During the investigation, Mr Umed denied ownership of the business, stating it belonged to his brother in Afghanistan.

The court heard Mr Umed had a previous caution for possession of unauthorised trade marked clothing dating back to 2004.

Appearing before Croydon magistrates last week, Mr Umed pleaded guilty and was fined £4,600 for six offences under the Trade Descriptions Act and two offences under the Trade Marks Act.

In addition he was ordered to pay costs of £2,011.

Councillor Steve O'Connell, deputy leader and cabinet member for public protection and crime reduction said: "Counterfeit goods damage the economy and do not represent value for money.

"Croydon consumers rightly expect traders to trade fairly. We will do everything we can to ensure consumers are protected from unscrupulous trading practices."

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