Border Force officers at the Channel Tunnel entrance in France have seized around 578 boxes of counterfeit cosmetic gift sets with a potential value of up to £10 million.
The seizure was made in the early hours of 28 August as officers carried out checks on a Dutch-registered vehicle en route to a business park in Newcastle-under-Lyme.
The Border Force team inspected the load and it soon became clear that the cosmetic sets and their packaging were of inferior quality.
The goods were seized and the investigation has been passed to Kent County Council Trading Standards.
Paul Morgan, Director of Border Force South East and Europe said:
I would like to praise my officers for their vigilance in identifying these fakes.
Counterfeit goods cause damage to legitimate businesses and traders and they leave customers out of pocket with inferior and possibly dangerous goods.
Border Force will continue to play a key role in fighting and disrupting serious and organised crime and protecting the UK’s economy.
KCC Trading Standards Manager Mark Rolfe said:
This is one of the biggest hauls of counterfeit goods we have ever encountered.
As soon as we examined the items, it was clear from errors with the labelling and instructions that the cosmetics were definitely fake. The makes involved include Dior, Chanel, Bobbi Brown and MAC.
We have now sent samples for testing so that we can determine whether these cosmetics were actually dangerous as well as counterfeit.
Protecting UK businesses and consumers from this organised crime is an important aspect of our work and this seizure is a clear demonstration of the value of the partnership between KCC Trading Standards and the Border Force.
Border Force officers are the front line in protecting the country and play a key role in detecting illegal immigration, disrupting serious and organised crime and helping to prevent the threat of terrorism. Border Force also protects the UK’s revenue, contributing to the nation’s prosperity and growth.
Anyone with information about activity they suspect may be linked to smuggling should call our hotline on 0800 59 5000.