Page last updated at 14:00 GMT, Friday, 9 January 2009

Counterfeit goods seized at port

Seized bottles
A traditional pain reliever was found to contain a toxic herb

Fake designer women's shoes and Nike trainers with an estimated street value of 2.3m have been seized in Suffolk.

Customs officers at the Port of Felixstowe uncovered the counterfeit footwear in separate shipments.

An HM Revenue and Customs spokeswoman said fake Jimmy Choo and Gucci branded shoes and boots, worth 1.4m, destined for the London markets had been seized.

In another shipment, also from China, more than 600 cartons of fake Nike trainers worth 900,000 were found.

The seizures, which both happened in mid-December, capped what the UK Border Agency described as a "successful year" at the port.

Most illegal goods fund drug dealers and other organised crime - even terrorism
Jim Jarvie, UK Border Agency

The agency's Jim Jarvie said: "There are many reasons why you should avoid buying fake goods; they may be dangerous, for example toxic herbal remedies or poor quality counterfeit goods.

"The shoes recently seized were badly made and there is unlikely to be any guarantees or after-sales service.

"In addition most illegal goods fund drug dealers and other organised crime - even terrorism."

The agency has also revealed that a shipment from Nigeria which was intercepted at the port contained potentially harmful toxins.

Tests revealed 20 cartons of a traditional herbal mixture used to relieve pain contained "dangerous quantities" of a toxic herb.

They also showed 100 small recycled bottles containing a brown liquid, which was described on labels as a cure for snake or scorpion bites and dysentery, contained dangerous levels of toxins.

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