Over half a million pounds worth of counterfeit goods – from football shirts to illegal condoms – have been seized in a pre-Christmas swoop by authorities in central London.
Ten stores were targetted in the clampdown in the London tourist strip of Trocadero Centre in Piccadilly Circus.
The raids were organised following complaints by shoppers about both the authenticity and price of a range of goods sold in these souvenir shops. The offending merchandise also included minion clothing and unlicensed Hello Kitty toys.
A Westminster Council spokesman said the law-makers would not stand idly by to allow people sell fake merchandise and cheat above-board traders and the customers in such shops. He warned that in future rogue traders should realise that such goods would be seized.
The raid, which was dubbed Operation Canton, also uncovered huge amounts of documents.
Westminster Police Sergeant Paul Clooney said counterfeiting could have devastating effects on local traders while customer sometimes end up with shoddy goods that could be dangerous as well.
He hoped that this raid would deter those who felt the West End was a place where counterfeit goods could be sold without repercussion.