Police and enforcement officers in Haringey have succeeded in closing down an illegal auction selling poor quality goods in Wood Green Town Centre.
Officials say that one of the men involved sought to get away in a van bearing a fraudulent disabled badge, a move described as “really outrageous” by Haringey cabinet member for enforcement and safer communities Cllr Nilgun Canver.
Cllr Nilgun Canver said “First they come here and sell counterfeit goods, which may not work at all, to unsuspecting customers and then they have the audacity to load their goods into a van bearing a disabled badge which does not belong to them. Well done to the Safer Neighbourhoods police and enforcement officers who spotted this auction and closed it down before too many people had lost their money.”
The authorities were alerted to the scam when police from Noel Park Safer Neighbourhood Team patrolling noticed an auction taking place and a shop full of customers at 42 High Road with a large speaker relaying the auction on to the pavement. They recognised this to be a “well known scam whereby customers expecting to get a bargain are in fact supplied extremely poor quality goods.”
Sgt Andy Underwood of Noel Park Safer Neighbourhoods Team, said: “I’m very pleased we managed to nip this in the bud before the auction could sell any of their goods to the unsuspecting public. My team will take all necessary steps to close them down as soon as they open. It is a testament to our close working relationship with the Street Enforcement Team that we were able to do this so quickly. We would urge the public not to buy anything from these types of auctions as they are likely to be disappointed and out of pocket.”
Although the traders advertised well known brands including electrical goods said to be made by Sony Erickson/Apple/BOSE and other leading manufacturers officers later discovered that none of the brands being offered were made by any of the leading manufacturers and were of extremely poor quality.
The auctioneers were immediately told they were committing an offence under the Trades Description Act and Trademarks Act and were asked to remove all the signs in the windows.
Once outside the shop police noticed that he was loading all the goods into a vehicle displaying a disabled badge belonging to a woman who was not with them. Police confiscated the badge as they felt that the badge was being used fraudulently.
Council officers are now making further enquiries as to whether the shop was leased to them or they broke into the shop to gain access.