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Successful operation leads to seizure of car parts worth tens of thousands

  • Fake car parts including an estimated 250 Audi and Volkswagen radiator grills and other evidence were seized.  

The co-ordinated operation, involving PIPCU and car manufacturers Audi and Volkswagen, resulted in two individuals being interviewed under caution and the investigation remains on going.  

Genuine radiator grills are designed and tested to minimise injuries to pedestrians in a collision. Had these counterfeit parts been fitted to cars, they could have posed a significant risk to the public as they are not safety tested.

The operation was initiated following a referral from Audi in October 2016.

July 2016: Police collaborate with motor industry experts to tackle car part counterfeiting.

Detective Inspector Nicholas Court, of the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit, said:

“This operation is an excellent example of the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) working collaboratively with the motor industry to tackle the sale of counterfeit goods.

“Not only could these parts pose a potential safety risk to those who have them fitted to their cars, they also undermine the legitimacy of the motor industry.

“We strive to identify and disrupt those who are intent on making money out of counterfeit goods, working closely with our partners to identify and take action against those who commit these crimes.”

In a similar case, in January 2016 an investigation was launched by PIPCU following a referral from Honda Motor Europe who identified that counterfeit airbags were being sold on eBay.  Robert Czernik, 36, of Blackbird Close, Poole, denied two counts of selling goods likely to be mistaken for a registered trademark. He is due to appear for trial on 11 September 2017 at Inner London Crown Court.

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