Watch your back: Ilford police raid shops for fake goods

PC Jasbir Randhawa

PC Jasbir Randhawa - Credit: Archant

Counterfeit accessories and stolen mobile phones were seized by police following two raids which also saw a man arrested on suspicion of working illegally.

The co-ordinated raids, which took place at about 10am yesterday (Weds), were part of the police’s crackdown on robbery.

Two mobile phone kiosks in High Road, Ilford, were raided, with a further two shops due to be searched in Cranbrook Road, Gants Hill.

Speaking before the action, deputy borough commander Supt Zander Gibson, said: “It’s not about targeting the shopkeepers – it’s about banging up criminals.”

The raids were part of Operation Shadow run by the police’s mobile phone unit, burglary and robbery squads, as well as Trading Standards.

Pc Jasbir Randhawa, who searched one of the kiosks, said: “We checked about 18 mobile phones and chargers. We ran their unique numbers through the mobile phone register and police database to see if they were stolen but they all came back clear.”

In addition to checking the mobile phones and seizing counterfeit phone cases, the team also confiscated oversized lighters.

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Mr Randhawa: “There was too much butane gas in them so we took them away as they were potentially explosive. They’ll now be destroyed.”

A man in his early 30s was arrested on suspicion of working illegally.

He was taken to Ilford Police Station, High Road, Ilford, for questioning by the UK Border Agency.

At the second kiosk, another team of police officers were running checks on mobile phones for sale.

After finding a phone which had been stolen, they contacted the shop owner who had not yet made it into work. Halil Bolat, 26, who rents the kiosk out, said he was surprised when the police turned up and was concerned people would think it was to do with his business.