News item

Huge ts fake bust

One of the largest trading standards hauls of fakes, worth more than three quarters of a million dollars, has resulted in a man being sent to prison for two and a half years.

Peterborough City Council's trading standards seized counterfeit oil drilling equipment worth in the region of $875,000  (£600,000) in January 2009 - this is believed to be one of the largest ever hauls seized by trading standards officers in the country.

Adrian Belson (56) of Oundle Road, Peterborough, appeared at Peterborough Crown Court Thursday 26 August 2010 for sentencing. He was handed a two and half year jail sentence and his company was fined £20,000.

Belson had previously pleaded guilty to four charges regarding the unauthorised use of the National Oilwell trademark. His company, Gripp Belgique, based at Godric Square, Peterborough, pleaded guilty to one charge regarding the unauthorised use of the trade mark.

The court heard that Belson sourced parts for oil drilling equipment from China which he imported into Peterborough and repackaged. The parts were then passed off as genuine and sold on at a vastly inflated price to oil drilling companies in the Arab States. The court heard the scam could potentially have earned Belson and the business hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Councillor Peter Hiller, cabinet member for housing, neighbourhoods and planning, said: ‘This investigation has halted a unique and sophisticated counterfeiting enterprise worth hundreds of thousands of pounds. I hope this sends out a clear warning message to anyone else involved in counterfeit activities that it will not be tolerated in Peterborough and we will take action against you.

‘We must also not forget the potential consequences of the supply of counterfeit goods. Had these parts been sold and put into a working environment then we simply could not guarantee their quality, reliability or safety as there are significant differences between these parts and the genuine items.’