Grand Theft iPhone! Cops Seize Fake Apple Products Alongside Counterfeit Items Worth £600,000

Fake iPhone

In police raids in Northern Ireland, cops seized fake Apple products, among other counterfeit products. 

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) on Thursday, March 28, 2024, took over 20,000 counterfeit devices into custody during two connected raids conducted in Belfast and 30 miles distant in Portadown.

Per a BBC News report, Detective Sergeant Mason, a spokesman for the PSNI, reportedly declined to comment on how many of the items found were replicas of Apple products. Still, the assortment of goods captured in police photos seems to be mostly knockoffs of Apple products.

“Collectively the products represent an estimated brand loss of £600,000 to Apple and other high street brands,” said Detective Sergeant Mason. 

According to PSNI, among the items were fake iPhones, AirPods, cell phones, chargers, smartwatches, and cash.

Following the Portadown operation, cops took a 24-year-old man into custody. However, word on the street is that police initially detained him on suspicion of immigration violations rather than counterfeiting.

In addition to warning that thieves would “attempt to copy anything,” the officer also says that criminals frequently use fake items to finance organized crime. The Police Service of Northern Ireland has cautioned that counterfeit goods pose health and safety hazards and frequently finance organized crime.

The officer also says that some “consumers may unwittingly buy counterfeit goods, while others – pleased to have snatched an affordable replica – will be unaware of the hidden implications.” 

However, most of the time, “vulnerable individuals work tirelessly in horrific conditions, and get paid a pittance” in sweatshops where these goods are created, said Det Sgt Mason.

This news comes days after police caught two kingpins, brothers Zhimin and Zhiting Liao, in San Deigo with 10,000 fake iPhones. For this crime, the heads of an international gang will be in prison for 51 months.


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