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Police seize £2m counterfeit goods

POLICE have seized more than £2 million of suspected counterfeit goods in a massive crackdown on serious and organised crime groups.

The huge haul was seized in the past two months from the Barras market in Glasgow.

Police say the illegal sale of counterfeit goods is part of a network of serious and organised crime, allegedly linked to drug gangs, prostitution and human trafficking.

The latest operation was launched after legitimate market traders raised concerns criminals were using the Barras market to fund illegal activities.

Chief Inspector David Pettigrew, area commander for East Centre and Calton, said: "Serious and organised criminals are making a lot of money from counterfit goods. We have a responsibility to act on this to make communities safer - and impact on crime.

"Every pound made from the sale of counterfeit goods goes towards funding serious and organised crime.

"This operation is two-fold.

"It's about cleaning up the area for the local community and disrupting the activities of serious and organised criminals."

Counterfeiters and illicit traders have been flooding the area with fake designer clothes, trainers, CDs, DVDs, designer watches and jewellery. Imported alcohol and illegal cigarettes were also seized.

Specially trained officers in the East End are working with a number of partner agencies, including Trading Standards, on the joint operation.

"This is part of an on-going operation aimed at letting the community flourish and getting rid of illicit traders from the area", Chief Inspector Pettigrew said.

A Police Scotland incident van is deployed to the Barras every weekend.

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