UK Border Force has seized 300 fake Audemars Piguet watches that arrived from China at Felixtowe’s port.
The watches were discovered in a consignment of counterfeit goods destined for a trader in South London that also included 300 pairs of Adidas flip flops, 1,400 Armani man bags, 669 pieces of Chanel crockery, vases and lights, 1,200 Gucci man bags, 240 Gucci flip flops, 2,000 Gucci purses, 1,000 Louise Vuitton purses, 400 Louis Vuitton man bags, 840 Louis Vuitton flip flops, 600 Nike flip flops, 300 Puma flip flops and 141 pieces of Versace crockery, vases and lights.
Matthew Davis, assistant director for Border Force based at Felixstowe, said: “The international trade in counterfeit goods is serious organised crime and a threat to the UK economy in terms of lost profits and tax revenues. Counterfeit goods leave customers out of pocket with inferior and possibly dangerous products. This was a significant seizure and a testament to the dedication and expertise of my officers here at Felixstowe.”
The 300 Audemars Piguet watches were all knock-off Royal Oak chronographs. It is not known how difficult to distinguish from the genuine articles, which retail for over £20,000.
Authorised dealers speaking to WatchPro have said that the quality of fakes today make it difficult even for experts to spot them.
The seized watches have been destroyed and the case has been referred to Ealing Council Trading Standards for further investigation.