Thousands of pounds-worth of screen printing equipment seized from a counterfeit clothing manufacturer is now being put to good use by students studying at De Montfort University in Leicester (DMU).
More than 370 pieces of equipment, worth more than £10,000, were seized by Leicester City Council Trading Standards officers in 2011 during a raid on the factory of Kully Screen Printing, in Galby Street, Spinney Hills.
The equipment was being used to make illegal transfer designs of trademarks such as Adidas, Hugo Boss and G-Star Raw onto clothes which were then sold as the real thing, in a operation believed to have netted tens of thousands of pounds.
Last year, three members of the same family – Shinderpal Singh and his sons Kuldip and Sarbjit – were jailed for their part in the operation and ordered to pay back £85,000 they were calculated to have made in the scam.
Now more than 100 screens used for printing designs onto garments have been donated to De Montfort University for students to use as part of their studies. The illegal trademarks are being removed to allow the screens to be reused.
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More of the seized equipment has also been donated to screen printing charity The Leicester Screen Printing Workshop as well as Leicester College, which has a partnership with De Montfort University.
Leicester City Council's Trading Standards investigations manager Ronald Ruddock, said: “This is a very positive ending to a successful enforcement operation, and it is great to see that these seized goods and equipment can have a new lease of life helping local students and a charity.
“Counterfeit clothing operations undermine genuine manufacturers but, in this case, their equipment is being used to help students and a charity which can put them to good use.
"My officers worked hard to achieve the results they did in this case, and being able to make donations to organisations within the local community is particularly satisfying for us.”
Kevin Holdaway, Senior Technical Instructor in Fine Art Printmaking at DMU, said the donations were a great gesture from Leicester City Council.
He added: “The screens are worth a lot of money and will get a lot of use from our students. I’m very happy the council’s trading standards department thought of us when it came to recycling the equipment and we are very grateful.
“I think the fact trading standards caught the counterfeiters and then were able to help our students is a great result all round.”
Information about the sale or production of counterfeit goods can be reported to trading standards officials via Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06.
Posted on Tuesday 28th April 2015