Counterfeiter dodges jail

A COUNTERFEITER who flogged fake designer goods with names of high-end fashion houses will be sent to jail – once the authorities catch him. Swee Teong Chew, 51, jumped bail while waiting trial for selling the dodgy goods at his shop in Oriental City, i

A COUNTERFEITER who flogged fake designer goods with names of high-end fashion houses will be sent to jail - once the authorities catch him.

Swee Teong Chew, 51, jumped bail while waiting trial for selling the dodgy goods at his shop in Oriental City, in Edgware Road, Colindale.

Blackfriars' Crown Court heard how officers from Brent and Harrow Trading Standards (BHTS) carried out a number of test purchases at Chew's shop to establish the authenticity of his merchandise before raiding his stall last July.

BHTS officers seized jeans, hats, scarves, tops, sunglasses, bags, jewellery and purses bearing designer trade marks such as Prada, Christian Dior, Nike, Diesel, Stone Island, Levis, Dolce and Gabbana, Armani, Chanel, Juicy Couture, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Rock and Republic and Playboy.

The seized goods would have been worth more than �60,000, if they were genuine.

Further fake goods worth more than �531,000, if genuine, were uncovered by TS officers in Islington.

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Chew was charged and bailed with strict conditions in place, but he failed to turn up at court and was convicted of conspiracy to commit trade mark offences.

He was sentenced to three years in jail in his absence.

The hunt is on for Mr Chew who may have fled to China where he sourced many of his fake goods.

Bill Bilon, head of BHTS, said: "Mr Chew was involved in counterfeiting at all levels of the supply chain, retailing, wholesaling and importing and today's sentence reflects the scale of his operation.

"This verdict is the result of a lengthy and complex investigation which I am pleased to see brought to a successful conclusion.

"I hope that convictions such as this remind those who might be tempted to indulge in such activity that, if caught, they will not only have their goods seized and any money that they have made from the sale of fakes will be confiscated, but they will also receive a criminal record and severe punishment from the court."

BHTS is planning to seize Chew's assets by launching a financial investigation under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

lorraine.king@archant.co.uk