Counterfeit Olympic goods seized

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Thousands of fake Olympic goods have been seized at ports and airports across the UK in the run-up to next month’s Games, the Border Force said yesterday.

More than 7,000 fake Olympic bags, 500 fake cigarette lighters and 400 fake vests make up the relatively modest haul seized by officials.

Home Office Minister Damian Green said: “Counterfeiting is not a harmless crime but a criminal enterprise posing a serious economic threat estimated to be worth around £1.3bn in the UK each year.

“In this Olympic summer our officers have utilised intelligence sources, scanner technology and search techniques to successfully thwart those seeking to illegally profit from the Games.

“Border Force officers at ports and airports around the UK help monitor inbound freight to safeguard our communities from the illegal import of harmful items such as drugs, weapons and counterfeit goods.”

Chris Townsend, commercial director of London 2012 organisers Locog, added that fake goods “undermine our ability to raise the revenues needed to stage” the Games and are also likely to fail quality and safety standards.

The biggest haul of fake Olympic goods came at the Felixstowe port, where more than 7,000 fake Olympic gym bags were seized in mid-April.

Border Force officers there also seized 540 Olympic-branded cigarette lighters.