On the 1st June 2023, Fone Den Plus Ltd, a company based in Batley, and its sole director, Hama Amin Wahab Zahid from Huddersfield, appeared at Kirklees Magistrates Court for sentencing in relation to offences under the Trade Marks Act 1994.
Fone Den Plus Ltd, located at Batley Enterprise Centre on Bradford Road, had previously pleaded guilty to five charges related to goods seized by the West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service (WYTSS). Among the seized items were 27 black travel adaptors, 214 pairs of earphones, 119 mobile phone backs, 109 screens, and 21 leather cases, all bearing the Samsung and Apple trademarks, contravening the Trade Marks Act 1994.
The company was fined £3333.00 and ordered to pay a surcharge of £190.00, along with costs totaling £1748.23.
Hama Zahid, the sole director of Fone Den Plus Ltd, residing in Peridot Fold, Fartown, Huddersfield, had previously pleaded guilty to two charges related to goods seized by WYTSS. Mr. Zahid received a 12-month Community Order, requiring him to carry out 40 hours of unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay a surcharge of £95.00 and costs amounting to £1165.49.
On the 1st of September 2021, officers from WYTSS, accompanied by trademark representatives, conducted an inspection at Fone Den Plus Ltd, located in Unit 402 of Batley Enterprise Centre on 513 Bradford Road. A substantial number of items were seized, resulting in a total of 58 evidence bags. Brand representatives examined various products and confirmed that all items were counterfeit.
The Magistrates expressed their concerns regarding counterfeit products and the potential risks they pose to consumer safety. Counterfeit products do not undergo the same rigorous testing as legitimate manufacturers, jeopardising the safety of unsuspecting consumers.
Councillor Habiban Zaman, a member of the West Yorkshire Joint Services Committee overseeing the work of Trading Standards, commented, “Sales of counterfeit goods of this nature pose serious risks to the community. Counterfeiting is not a victimless crime; it diverts money from the legitimate economy, fuels the shadow economy, and deceives consumers and honest businesses.”
David Strover, Trading Standards Manager of the Business Service Team, stated, “This operation is part of our ongoing efforts to clamp down on the supply of counterfeit electrical goods in West Yorkshire. While we are always concerned about the trade of counterfeit goods, it is particularly alarming when electrical items, toys, cosmetics, and food are counterfeited and sold in West Yorkshire, as safety regulations are often completely disregarded.”
Consumers who wish to report illegal trading practices, including the sale of unsafe and counterfeit items, can contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline at 0808 223 1133 to report their concerns anonymously.