Hundreds of fake England football shirts have been seized during the World Cup at London’s Heathrow Airport.
A team from Border Force – containing officer Sean Rooney – discovered the consignment of more than 400 home and away replica jerseys in freight on Tuesday 17 and Wednesday 18 June.
The shirts, which had been imported from Hong Kong, have now been confirmed as fake by the official England kit manufacturers, Nike.
The package from Hong Kong was labelled up as being glassware, so when I opened it up and saw the shirts I knew they had to be fake.
To the untrained eye they look pretty genuine. I’m certain they would have ended up being sold to unsuspecting members of the public as the real thing, so it is good we have found them, taken them out of circulation and stopped people getting conned.
The shirts, which could have been worth between £20,000 and £30,000 if sold, will now be destroyed.
Marc Owen, Border Force Heathrow Director, said:
Counterfeit goods cause damage to legitimate businesses and traders, which is why Border Force is working hard to stop them entering the UK.
Not only do they leave customers out of pocket when sold as the real thing, they are something that is at best inferior, at worst possibly dangerous.
This was a great result for Rooney and his team-mates at Heathrow.
Border Force officers work around the clock at ports, airports and international postal hubs to detect illicit goods, illegal drugs and weapons.
Anyone with information about activity they suspect may be linked to smuggling should call our hotline on 0800 59 5000.