Fake goods land phone shop with heavy fine and confiscation order

The Fone Shop Parts Ltd of Charles House, Bridge Road, Southall and its sole director, Mr Rajinder Singh Chopra, were sentenced at a hearing at Isleworth Crown Court on Friday, 30 October. They had previously pleaded guilty to offences under the Trade Marks Act (TMA) 1994 and Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations (EESR) 1994.

The company was ordered to pay a penalty totalling £17,730.48, which included the council’s costs of £10,730.48, plus the victim surcharge. Mr Chopra received imprisonment sentences suspended for two years for the charges. He was also order to carry out 250 hours of unpaid community work and pay a victim surcharge. 

Over 4,000 items with a street value worth more than £20,000 were seized by the council’s trading standards officers during an operation carried out early last year. Accompanied by police officers, they entered the premises located in an area renowned for the distribution of unsafe and counterfeit goods for the purposes of inspection using powers under the Trade Marks Act 1994.  

Along with counterfeit parts, batteries and protective covers for mobile phones infringing trade mark logos such as Apple, Samsung, Nokia, HTL, LG, Sony, Blackberry, Warner Bros (Batman and Superman) and Monster Energy, officers also found evidence of illegal importation as well as other potentially dangerous electrical goods. Money also found on site was seized by the police and Mr Chopra was arrested as a result of the raid. 

Councillor Ranjit Dheer, cabinet member for safety, culture and community safety, said: “This prosecution demonstrates how successful our operations with partners such as the police and other boroughs have been in this area, helping us to keep fake and unsafe goods from flooding the market. We are committed to guarding the public from dishonest traders who deliberately flout the law and Mr Chopra has received an exacting punishment for his illegal actions.”  

Inspector Winnard from Ealing Police said, "This is an excellent result. This operation illustrates what can be achieved when partners such as Ealing Council and Ealing Police work together, sharing skills and expertise. In this instance, thousands of counterfeit and potentially unsafe goods have been prevented from reaching unsuspecting members of the public. This sentence should serve as a warning to those persons willing to engage in similar acts."

A confiscation order to the value of approximately £43,000 that had previously been ordered against Mr Chopra was taken into account during sentencing. The order is to be paid on or before 24 November, the date of the enforcement hearing.