Council officers have seized suspected fake designer goods including 45 boxes supposedly containing Nike trainers in morning raids.
Durham County Council’s Fair Trading team recovered suspected counterfeit items, including the trainers, from two homes in Newton Aycliffe and Bishop Auckland on Wednesday morning.
The officers targeted the properties as they were linked to an earlier raid at an address in Ferryhill shortly before Christmas, in which around 150 suspected fake items were seized, some of which have since been confirmed to be counterfeit.
As well as the 45 boxes said to include Nike trainers, various items of clothing and accessories thought to be fake were seized including body-warmers, tracksuits and hand-bags.
These were branded with trademarked names including Adidas, Ralph Lauren and Michael Kors.
The goods from the properties are thought to have been advertised on the internet at a fraction of their retail price.
Two people have been interviewed by council officers on suspicion of trademark offences following the raids and enquiries are continuing.
Owen Cleugh, the council’s consumer protection manager, said: “Our message to the public is to avoid buying counterfeit goods. They are poor value for money and serve to fund other areas of criminal activity.
“These products are not subjected to the same standards of quality control, safety procedures and traceability as legitimate goods.
“Fake items such as toys, electrical and cosmetic products may also pose a risk to users if something goes wrong.
“We will continue to keep a close watch on the market place and won’t hesitate to crack down on the illegal sales of counterfeit goods in County Durham.”
Anyone with information on suspected counterfeit goods sales, such as clothing, trainers, alcohol and tobacco, should contact the Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06.