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Manchester crackdown nets £3m worth of fake clothing

Manchester authorities are moving to clamp down on retailers selling fake branded clothing as they seek to shed the city's status as one of the UK's three 'counterfeit capitals'.

Last week Greater Manchester Police mounted a raid involving 60 officers, which resulted in the arrest of 13 people. Fake clothes with brand names including Adidas, Reebok, Timberland, Rockport and Nike were seized in a haul worth more than £3 million.

The arrests focused on the Bury New Road area of the city and involved two branches of Silver Sports, plus two other local retailers, Spoil Sports and Gujjer.

Inspector Dean Stott, of Greater Manchester Police, said the raid signalled a crackdown on counterfeiting, and promised further action on fake goods from the police.

"We will continue to work with trading standards and other partner agencies to stamp out this type of criminal activity," he said.

Trading standards officers and brand managers accompanied police on the raids to identify the illegal products.

One source close to the operation said Manchester had emerged as one of three fake clothing 'hotspots', along with Leicester and London. He said London was especially problematic due to fragmented trading standards, which depend on a borough-by-borough patchwork of funding.

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