Police have welcomed the jail terms imposed on a Ballymena couple who admitted dealing in counterfeit car products.
Stephen Anderson (49) and his wife Elizabeth Helen Anderson (46), of Galgorm Hall, Ballymena, had previously pleaded guilty to a series of counterfeiting, trademark and money laundering offences.
Today at Antrim Crown Court Stephen Anderson was sentenced to 15 months in prison while Elizabeth Helen Anderson was sentenced to nine months in jail. Both sentences are half in custody and half on licence.
In August 2014, following a complaint from a car manufacturer, detectives from Reactive and Organised Crime Branch searched properties in Ballymena, Portstewart and Belfast. Officers seized a significant amount of counterfeit car products which were being sold online. In addition, two high value cars were seized as well as trading account books.
Detective Chief Inspector Colin Gillis from Reactive and Organised Crime said: “The market for car products linked to prestige brands is substantial. Those who seek to subvert this market by making and selling counterfeit products are putting jobs at risk and reducing legitimate profits. They are also taking money out of the legitimate economy and its tax revenues which pay for public services.
“We remain committed to working with industry to ensure that producers, workers and the public are protected from fraudsters. I would urge anyone with information about the manufacture, distribution or sale of any counterfeit products to contact police.”
Confiscation proceedings in relation to the couple’s assets will take place next month, a police spokesperson said.