Over £2 million of counterfeit clothing has been seized in the Cheetham Hill area of Greater Manchester. The seizure was carried out during a multi-agency operation targeting organised crime.
Police, Trading Standards and HMRC worked together under Operation Challenger on intelligence received. They searched six addresses including businesses, private houses and storage units.
The agencies detained a total of six people for immigration offences and failure to appear at court. They also held them for disqualified driving and on suspicion of assault.
Five vehicles were also seized for invalid or no insurance.
Potential victims of modern slavery were identified and signposted to the appropriate services to receive protection and support for rehabilitation. Agencies were also looking for people thought to be victims of modern slavery, ready to offer specialist support if needed.
The week of action was also supported by other agencies including Immigration, Border Force, GMFRS and DVLA.
Chief Inspector Denise Pye from Greater Manchester Police said: “A week of action like this reinforces our commitment to cracking on organised crime here in Greater Manchester.
“Members of organised crime groups are often involved in the production and selling of counterfeit goods to fund further criminal activity. By disrupting their plans at this stage, we are potentially preventing these criminals from committing more serious crimes in future.
Councillor Nigel Murphy, Manchester City Council executive member for neighbourhoods said: “This activity forms part of increased multi-agency effort to tackle criminality in the area over the last 18 months.
Residents and business owners in the nearby area have since received reassurance letters from Police. The letters were informing them of the activity undertaken and the reasons why.