Photo via Daily Gazette
Thousands of fake poppy-branded scarves, key rings, and items of jewellery have been confiscated before the items could be sold for profit in the period around Remembrance Day.
The shipment was intercepted by Border Force officers. The shipment was destined for Manchester when it arrived on Wednesday from China at Tilbury Docks.
The acting deputy director of the Border Force, Mark Kennedy, stated: “Had these fake goods entered the market, they could have cheated thousands of pounds from unsuspecting members of the public and diverted vital funds away from the Royal British Legion.”
The said merchandise was worth about £150,000 and included items that are branded with “Lest We Forget,” and also infringing the copyright of the Royal British Legion on the two-petal poppy symbol.
The shipment contained about 5,400 badges, 1,212 scarves, 1,200 key rings and 600 four-petal brooches that infringed a separate copyright that is held by the Earl Haig Fund Scotland which trades as Poppyscotland.
In a joint statement, Poppyscotland and the Royal British Legion said that the trademarks must be guarded “so that the public can be sure that their donations are going directly to a registered charity.”
“By donating for a poppy through our official channels, or corporate partners, the public can rest assured that their money will go towards supporting our Armed Forces community,” added a spokesperson.
Both charities support veterans, serving members of the armed forces, and their families, that are participating in yearly tributes around Armistice Day.
2017 marks the centenaries of the Battle of Passchendaele, women’s service in regular forces, the establishment of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and the hundredth birthday of Dame Vera Lynn, the ‘forces’ sweetheart.’
2017 will also commemorate the 75th anniversary of the creation of the RAF Regiment and the Battle of El Alamein.
The Queen, the Prince of Wales, Duke of Edinburgh, the Duchess of Cambridge, and the Duchess of Cornwall were among the royals that are expected to attend the Royal Festival of Remembrance in London that will be held Saturday, amid commemorations that will happen across the country.
On Sunday, the Queen is said to watch from a balcony along with the Duke of Edinburgh as Charles lays a wreath on the queen’s behalf at the Cenotaph – the first time that the queen has not carried out the duty herself.
Kennedy said that officers would continue working at airports, ports, and mail sorting centres in order to identify fake goods in a crackdown on the online-linked crime.
Once items are confiscated, the Border Force verifies whether the items are fake and then destroys them, with rights holders determining whether to prosecute the importers privately.
Anyone who has been sold fake items or knows a person who is selling them is requested to contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.