Closure order served on Cheetham Hill take out and illegal counterfeit clothing store above


A shutdown order has been served against a Cheetham Hill take-out restaurant and an illegal counterfeit clothing store above.

Punjabi Chaska takeaway, 17-19 Bury New Road, will now be banned from operating for the next three months.

This step was taken as part of Operation Magpie, a multi-agency approach between Manchester City Council, GMP and partner agencies to combat the trade in counterfeit goods.

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Intelligence gathered during the operation revealed that the premises functioned as a store for counterfeit goods, with “spotters” routinely seen outside passing the belongings of passers-by and alerting people inside. interior when law enforcement officers were in the neighborhood.

The closing order is in place for three months

Previous action at the premises included a warrant executed on December 3, 2020 by immigration law enforcement officers over reports that undocumented workers were employed in both take-out and retail sales. of counterfeit products in the above store.

A search of the premises at the time uncovered more than 3,000 counterfeit items which were seized by the Northwest Police Intelligence Property Crimes Unit. The goods, which included clothing, cosmetics and candles, had an estimated market value of around £ 60,000.

Locals were warned on June 18, 2021 that if they continued to sell counterfeit goods, the council would seek an order to close the premises. On August 1, test purchases were made at the premises and all items were found to be counterfeit.

The use of spotters is considered a major contributing factor to incidents of crime and disorder in the Strangeways area. The police had to use dispersal powers to control the large-scale fighting that took place between the observers. The observer network is also believed to have links to drug trafficking in the region, the council said.

Police intelligence also suggested that Punjabi Chaska had ties to serious organized crime groups.

The operation of counterfeit and take-out shops in the Strangeways area is also a major cause of problems with fly dumping and general mismanagement of waste, a council spokesperson said.

This has a negative impact on the city council’s street cleaning costs and contributes to the sense of disrepair in the neighborhood which the council is keen to correct.

The order to shut down the ASB was obtained at a hearing in Manchester Magistrates’ Court yesterday (9 September).

It will remain closed until December 9

The premises will remain closed until December 9, although the Council may seek a further 3-month extension of the closure order if it fears the crime, nuisance and unrest may continue.

The Council was also awarded £ 4,536 in costs.

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Councilor Rabnawaz Akbar, Executive Ward Member for Manchester City Council, said: “Criminal behavior will not be tolerated in this city. We want to send a strong message to businesses in the Strangeways area: If you sell counterfeit products, the Council and the police will not hesitate to take enforcement action against you.

“What we’re doing here is not just a fake coat or a fake bag. It’s about protecting vulnerable people exploited by criminal gangs, it’s about preventing money from going into the pockets of criminals and creating neighborhoods where people can feel safe.

“I am proud of the excellent work done by our Business Standards, Anti-Social Behavior and Legal Services teams in securing this closure order.

“We cannot do it alone and I am grateful for the work being done by GMP, the Cheetham Hill Neighborhood Police Team and our partners to investigate perpetrators and work with us to bring them to justice. . ”

Over 3,000 counterfeit products were collected from the shop above the take-out

A spokesperson for Greater Manchester Police said: ‘GMP wants to send a message to those who take the risk of selling counterfeit goods, that this is a crime that we are determined to fight. We will continue to work with the North West Regional Organized Crime Unit and our partners, to plan and execute large-scale operations like this to combat the problem.

“The key to disrupting the sale of counterfeit products is to educate the public about the risk if they buy them. Not only is the item you buy – whether it’s a toy, electronic device, or tobacco – is unregulated, which means it poses a significant risk to health and safety. security, but the money you donated to buy it is then often used by organized crime groups to fund activities. much more sinister.

“I strongly encourage anyone who is considering trying to get a cheap deal to reconsider their decision.”

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