Businessman ran Multi-Million Pound Fake Clothes Factory

A businessman from West Bromwich was caught running a multi-million pound factory which sold fake clothes.

Businessman ran Multi-Million Pound Fake Clothes Factory f

"The profits would have been substantial."

Inderjit Sangu, aged 67, of West Bromwich, was jailed for four years for running a multi-million pound fake clothes factory.

It was an “industrial scale” operation, with Sangu supplying bogus items to markets across the UK.

He ripped off luxury brands such as Moncler and Canada Goose which sells garments for hundreds of pounds each.

Sangu also sold fake clothes under brand names like Ralph Lauren, Hugo Boss, Versace, Prada, Givenchy, Lacoste, Nike and Adidas.

In 2019, officials intercepted two transport vehicles and seized dozens of boxes of counterfeit clothes, some of which were marked up as ‘Inderjit Birmingham’.

Mobile phone messages made reference to a unit on Park Road.

Further intelligence indicated that a vehicle suspected of transporting fake clothes to Bovingdon Market, Hertfordshire, belonged to Sangu.

Trading Standards raided the Park Road unit in August 2019 and found a huge haul of fakes as well as three sewing loom machines.

Mark Jackson, prosecuting, calculated there were enough labels for £5 million worth of goods by attaching a ‘conservative’ average value to each one.

Three further boxes of fake clothes were found in a VW Passat parked outside.

A warrant was also executed at Sangu’s former home in Handsworth.

Messages on his phone indicated he had been involved in distributing fakes since at least 2016.

Mr Jackson said: “This was a professional and well-organised operation.

“The profits would have been substantial. Counterfeits are a cash business.”

Sangu pleaded guilty to 26 trademark offences.

Jonathan Barker, defending, admitted that Sangu had a “spectacular fall from grace” and said:

“This man is a British citizen. He came over from India and for the majority of his life has worked tirelessly to support his family.

“For many years he was a legitimate businessman but like many others fell on hard times, and as a consequence got involved in counterfeit clothing. He did so to provide for his family.

“This is a man who resides in a semi-detached house in West Bromwich.

“He has a mortgage, he has debts. There are no large pools of money to draw upon, no foreign houses, no evidence of an extravagant lifestyle.”

Mr Barker added that Sangu was “not competing” with high street and designer shops because he was supplying his fakes to market traders in “working-class areas”.

He said: “Not for one second would a person buying a Canada Goose coat from a market stall have thought they were buying a genuine item.

“The goods were being produced so working-class people had the opportunity of wearing the sort of branded clothes we are constantly bombarded with in adverts and social media.”

However, Recorder Benet Brandreth QC emphasised the harm caused by Sangu.

He said:

“People knowing they are getting counterfeit goods could be lured into your criminal actions.”

“People not knowing they are getting counterfeit goods would be duped into buying goods they believed to be genuine.

“And customers of genuine products would have the value of their goods undermined by the perception they may be counterfeit.

“The harm to brand owners and customers is very significant in this case.

“Deterrence is also a significant factor in sentencing because of the difficulty in identifying and convicting counterfeit goods manufacturers.

“In this case, you were able to carry on your operation for some time before being caught.”

He added: “This was a large-scale, professional operation affecting many brands.

“It is quite clear you were the guiding light and involved others.”

Birmingham Mail reported that on August 23, 2021, Sangu was jailed for four years.

Dhiren is a journalism graduate with a passion for gaming, watching films and sports. He also enjoys cooking from time to time. His motto is to “Live life one day at a time.”

image courtesy of Birmingham Mail