Thousands of fake Olympic flags on their way to Norwood have been seized by Border Officers

The consignment, weighing 800 kilos and containing around 10,000 flags and pieces of bunting all emblazoned with the Olympic rings, had come from China and was destined for an importer in Norwood.

It was discovered by officers conducting checks on freight on 10 July. Checks with Locog, the Games organisers, revealed the flags were fakes and they were seized.

The flags, which are thought to have had a value of approximately £100,000, will now be destroyed. It is not believed the importer knew they were fakes.

Border Force Heathrow Director Marc Owen said: “Counterfeiting is not a harmless crime, it is a huge criminal business estimated to cost the UK economy around £1.3 billion a year. For the gangs behind it, it is low-risk and high-reward.

“In the run-up to the Olympics we have been working closely with LOCOG to thwart those who would seek to illegally profit from the games and protect UK consumers from the fakers.”

LOCOG commercial director, Chris Townsend said: “Fake products not only undermine our ability to raise the revenues needed to stage and host the London 2012 Games, but the fake goods themselves are likely to be of inferior quality and not meet the stringent safety and sustainability standards that all official products must meet.”

Anyone with information about activity they suspect may be linked to smuggling should call our hotline on 0800 59 5000.