Vulnerable man who was ‘groomed by criminal gang’ was found selling fake designer goods on ‘counterfeit street’

May 11, 2021

The goods were uncovered by undercover officers at a shop on Bury New Road in Cheetham Hill – “one of Manchester’s most popular destinations for illicit goods”
A vulnerable man, who had been ‘groomed’ and ‘exploited’ by a ‘serious criminal gang,’ was found selling fake designer goods from ‘virtually every high-end brand’ at a shop on Manchester’s ‘counterfeit street’.

The goods were uncovered by undercover officers at a shop on Bury New Road in Cheetham Hill – “one of Manchester’s most popular destinations for illicit goods”
A vulnerable man, who had been ‘groomed’ and ‘exploited’ by a ‘serious criminal gang,’ was found selling fake designer goods from ‘virtually every high-end brand’ at a shop on Manchester’s ‘counterfeit street’.
Nearly £100,000 worth of goods were recovered from the store in Cheetham Hill being run by Husamaclin Karimi, 28, a court heard.
As well as handbags, clothing and other items, this included £50,000 of fake badges and labels from luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Michael Kors and Jimmy Choo which were to be sown or stuck onto fake goods.
Mr Karimi, who is an asylum seeker originally from Afghanistan, today avoided an immediate jail term after his defence said he was ‘vulnerable’ and had been ‘groomed’ by criminals.
The goods, purporting to be from 53 different brands were uncovered in October 2019 after undercover officers entered the store on Bury New Road – which prosecutor Adam Bonney said was “one of Manchester’s most popular destinations for illicit goods”

Police said ‘store manager’ Karimi took them to a series of back rooms in the three-storey shop where he told them they could purchase items for between £20 and £50.

Inside the officers found handbags, jewellery, wallets, hats, footwear, and clothing from “virtually every high-end brand you could think of.”
More officers were brought in and a haul which included 235 Gucci items, 264 Louis Vuitton, 221 Chanel, 144 Michael Kors and “various other brands” were found Mr Bonney said.
The goods, said to be worth of £44,490 were later analysed by brand experts who confirmed they were all “essentially rip-offs of the genuine makes” he added.
However, alongside the goods were an estimated £52,469 worth of fake badges for brands such as Louis Vutton, Michael Kors and Yves Saint-Lauren.
These had been imported separately and were to be “sown onto counterfeit clothing, handbags and shoes” officers said.
Labels for Mulberry, Prada, Ted Baker, DKNY, Stella McCartney, Burberry, Valentino and UGG were also seized court documents show.
“The defendant was the sole person found in the shop”, had the keys and was “clearly selling the goods,” Mr Bonney said.
In interview Karimi admitted he had been selling counterfeit goods in the shop for around two to three months and said he was paid just £40 in cash per day, the court was told.
“The crown accepts that he wasn’t the controlling mind behind the business and that his role was limited to just selling the items,” Mr Bonney said.
Ben Berkson, defending, went further saying Karimi had been ‘preyed upon’ and ‘groomed’ by the ‘serious’ criminals behind the operation.
He said his client had come to the UK in 2016 after fleeing his homeland of Afghanistan and that he faced ‘life-threatening reprisals including torture and persecution’ if he returned.
https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/vulnerable-man-who-groomed-criminal-20565392?fbclid