Brothers confess to four million pound perfume racket
London : Two brothers of Indian origin, who were arrested in 2004, have confessed to manufacturing and marketing fake perfumes in Britain.
Mandip Bains, Jatinder Bains and their accomplice Mark Lawton admitted conspiring to apply illegal trademarks to perfumes when they appeared before Stoke-on-Trent Crown court in Staffordshire on Tuesday.
Three years ago, police and trading standards officers busted a four million pound scam by raiding a Shelton factory unit and seizing 30,000 bottles of fake perfumes of well-known brands.
During the raid, police also found counterfeit perfume labels of brands such as Chanel, Armani and Hugo Boss, the Sentinel newspaper reported.
The three admitted conspiring to distribute goods bearing illegal trademarks.
"This was a huge operation and the biggest of its kind for trading standards in this area. Following a joint operation between police and trading standards, 30,000 bottles of perfume were seized and enough packaging for in excess of 100,000 more," said city council officer Neil Horton, who led the operation in 2004.
"All the perfume was counterfeit - therefore untested and potentially dangerous. We have secured guilty pleas in court and will be looking to take it further," he added.
Investigators estimate that with an average retail price of between 25 and 50 pounds for a bottle of perfume, the scam would have netted four million pounds.
Sentencing of the trio will take place next month.