Fake goods: Apple products among items worth £600,000 seized

A haul of fake goods including knock-off Apple products, vapes and other electronics worth an estimated £600,000 has been seized in Northern Ireland.

More than 20,000 items, including fake iPhones, AirPods, mobile phones, chargers and smartwatches were seized on Thursday at two premises in Belfast and Portadown.

Cash was also seized, police said.

A 24-year-old man has been arrested in Portadown on suspicion of immigration offences.

"Collectively the products represent an estimated brand loss of £600,000 to Apple and other high street brands," Det Sgt Mason said.

The operation in Northern Ireland was carried out by the PSNI's Organised Crime Branch.

It followed seizures made in the English east midlands in December, Det Sgt Mason said.

Criminals, the officer added, would "attempt to copy anything" and warned some "consumers may unwittingly buy counterfeit goods, while others - pleased to have snatched an affordable replica - will be unaware of the hidden implications".

Fake goods often fund organised crime and have health and safety risks, the Police Service of Northern Ireland warned.

In the majority of cases they are produced in sweatshops where "vulnerable individuals work tirelessly in horrific conditions, and get paid a pittance", Det Sgt Mason added.