A man was sentenced yesterday (Monday 13 January 2020) to an 8 month custodial sentence, following a hearing at Inner London Crown Court, after pleading guilty to manufacturing goods with unauthorised trademarks.
Between March 2012 and February 2015, Izhar Gul, aged 43 of Boundary Road in London, produced fake merchandise bearing the branding and logos of music artists and designer brands.
In July 2014, the City of London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) received a crime report from Surelock International Limited , a private investigation company who conduct investigations on behalf of the music industry. After carrying out test purchases on Gul’s eBay accounts, in which they bought hoodies, sweaters, t-shirts and vest tops, Surelock identified all of the items they received as counterfeit.
Warrants were carried out by PIPCU officers at two addresses in east London in February 2015, in which many items were seized, including: CCTV equipment, branded and non-branded clothing, stencil templates containing the designs of brands and machinery used to transfer logos and designs to unbranded clothing. Following examination of the branded clothing, brand holder representatives determined all of the items produced in evidence to be counterfeit. Izhar Gul was arrested and later released on bail,; during this time Izhar left the UK.
In July 2019, the City of London Police were made aware that Gul had been detained after attempting to re-enter the UK illegally, via a small vessel near the Kent border alongside 26 other individuals. He was arrested and remained in custody to await trial.
Detective Chief Inspector Nick Court, head of the City of London Police’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit, said:
“This sentencing proves that producing fake goods will not go unpunished. Not only does this act deprive the creative industry of revenue, it also puts the livelihoods of those working in it at risk.
“Through the hard work of our officers, and working with industry partners such as Surelock, we have effectively brought the man responsible to justice.
“We hope that today’s sentencing sends a warning to those carrying out this type of criminal activity that their actions are not without consequences.”
Director of Surelock, Ron Harrison, said:
“Surelock is one of the UK’s most pro-active brand protection companies, who represent a number of clients including music artists where we act as enforcement agents for Trademarks and Rightsholders Against Piracy (TRAP). We received excellent service and cooperation from City of London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU). A large amount of counterfeit merchandise was seized and this was ultimately a very successful operation for which we are grateful.”
Meraj Gul, his co-defendant, was sentenced on 2 June 2017 for 30 months for similar offences, with a minimum gross profit of £152,895.