Over past few weeks, thousands removed from parcels sent from overseas
30th December 2010: No prize for guessing this — fake UGG boots and counterfeit GHD hair straighteners were the favourite items `parceled’ into the UK from overseas during the festive season of Christmas.
In fact, the UK Border Agency officers over the past few weeks removed thousands of fake UGG boots and counterfeit GHD hair straighteners from parcels sent from overseas.
The Agency also made it clear that it was just not easy to `post’ in illegal and counterfeit stuff.
`Our officers use a combination of hi-tech x-ray scanning equipment and intelligence to weed out illegal and unsafe goods hidden inside parcels. Suspected counterfeit goods are detained so that the rights holder can examine them.
`If they are found to be counterfeit, the rights holder will contact those involved in the import, with a view to potential legal action. If no court proceedings are taken, the goods are destroyed’.
This was revealed by the UKBA after a parcel containing rotting reindeer meat was confiscated upon being found by its officers at Coventry’s international postal hub.
The UKBA said: `During the busy run-up to Christmas, when postal traffic increased from 25,000 to 45,000 items per day, officers worked around the clock to stop illegal goods getting into the country.
`Over the past few weeks, they have removed thousands of fake UGG boots and counterfeit GHD hair straighteners from parcels sent from overseas. But the reindeer meat was their strangest discovery.
Chris Bagley, UK Border Agency assistant director at Coventry, said: ‘We will stop any parcels sent from abroad that pose a danger to the public or that breach trading standards. Every day we seize Class A drugs, illegal weapons, contraband and counterfeit goods that criminal gangs try to smuggle into the UK.
‘We are also on the look-out for products of animal origin because unregulated imports could potentially bring diseases into our food chain.
‘This particular parcel was selected due to the dreadful smell it gave off.
‘When our officers opened the 4-foot by 2-foot cardboard box, they were shocked to discover that it was crammed full with a chopped-up reindeer carcass, including its antlers. It was really grim as the meat had started to decay during transit. There was no way that it was ever going to be safe to eat, so we had to arrange for the parcel to be incinerated.’
The parcel was sent from Germany. Although imports from European Union countries are not usually stopped by the UK Border Agency because of stringent food hygiene regulations, this parcel was seized because officers deemed it a public health risk.