Arrests in Ballymena counterfeit car products probe

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Detectives from Organised Crime Branch have arrested a man and a woman in Ballymena as part of an investigation into counterfeit car products.

During searches at various locations this morning two prestige cars were seized as well as a significant amount of counterfeit vehicle merchandise.

A 47 year old man and a 44 year old woman were arrested and taken to Ballymena police station for questioning.

The cars seized were a Porsche and a BMW. The counterfeit products for brands such as Porsche, BMW, Audi and Mercedes included key fobs, badges and wheel caps.

Detective Inspector Todd Clements, from Organised Crime Branch, said: “Following a complaint from a car manufacturer, police have searched properties in Ballymena, Portstewart and Belfast. Officers have seized a significant amount of what we believe are counterfeit car products being sold online in a business with a substantial turnover.

“As part of our restraint operation we have seized two high value cars belonging to the man and woman. We are also in the process of obtaining restraint orders on a house in the Galgorm area of Ballymena and two properties in Portstewart and a number of bank accounts.

“The market for car products linked to prestige brands runs into millions of pounds. Those who seek to subvert this market by making and selling counterfeit products are jeopardising jobs and reducing company profits. But, most importantly, they are taking money out of the legitimate economy and in doing so are reducing the money available to the Exchequer through tax revenue to provide our communities with roads, schools and hospitals.

“Police are committed to working with industry and the Organised Crime Task Force to ensure producers, workers and the public are protected from fraudsters. I would urge anyone with information about the manufacture, distribution or sale of any counterfeit product to contact police on the non emergency number 101 or to the independent charity Crimestopppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”