TECH

Police seize counterfeit iPhones from $750,000 worth of counterfeit goods

Fake Apple products seized in Northern Ireland

Counterfeit iPhones, AirPods and iPhone cases were among the counterfeit goods seized in police raids in Northern Ireland.

It turns out that counterfeit Apple devices are common not only in the United States. On Thursday 28 March 2024, the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) seized more than 20,000 counterfeit devices in two linked raids in Belfast and 30 miles from Portadown.

According to BBC News, PSNI spokesman Detective Sergeant Mason did not disclose what proportion of the goods seized were copies of Apple products. However, a selection of items seen in police photos appear to be mostly Apple counterfeits.

The PSNI said the items included counterfeit iPhones, AirPods and unspecified smartwatches, mobile phones and chargers.

“Collectively, these products represent a brand loss of 600,000 for Apple and other popular brands,” said D.S. Mason. The officer warned that criminals would “try to copy anything” and said such counterfeit goods often finance organized crime.

A 24-year-old man was arrested following a raid in Portadown, but reportedly on suspicion of immigration offenses and not necessarily counterfeiting.

D.S. Mason said the raids in Belfast and Portadown followed raids in England's eastern Midlands region. Additionally, in 2021, a repair firm in the area was fined nearly $150,000 for selling counterfeit Apple chargers.

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