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Chingford counterfeit criminal landed with bill for £¼million

A Chingford resident has fled the country owing just shy of £¼million in connection with his part in an international criminal operation relating to the import and sale of counterfeit clothing.

Abdul Kadir Ozkok, of Westward Road, Chingford, pled guilty to a Trade Marks offence at Snaresbrook Crown Court on 5 August 2013 and was sentenced to 11 months imprisonment and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £100.

The case was the culmination of a Waltham Forest Council Trading Standards investigation that began in October 2009 following a raid at New Covent Garden Market. Working with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, local police and members of the Intellectual Property Crime Unit a case was built that evidenced Mr Ozkok as being involved in a criminal enterprise linked to Turkey.

More than 60 boxes containing 2,818 articles of counterfeit clothing bearing trademarks such as Adidas, Gucci, Burberry and Louis Vuitton, were seized in a raid on two garages at Mr Ozkok’s Chingford property in November 2009.

During sentencing the Judge commented that Mr Ozkok was a vital cog in an illegal enterprise and described him as a trusted lieutenant without whom the enterprise in the UK could not have functioned.

In the wake of the trial Mr Ozkok was subject to a financial investigation to determine the amount of financial benefit arising from the illegal business and his realisable assets. A Confiscation Order was sought and a Proceeds of Crime hearing was set for 15 January 2014, which was a few days before Mr Ozkok was due to be released from prison.

The Judge ruled that Mr Ozkok needed to make adequate representation regarding the location of the money earned by him and accordingly a second hearing was set for 16 April 2014. Mr Ozkok, who by then had been released from prison, failed to turn up and in his absence the Judge declared that there was a benefit figure in the sum of £236,445.63.

A Confiscation Order was made for that sum and Mr Ozkok was given six months to pay (by 16 October 2014 with a prison sentence of 2 ½ years in default). He was also ordered to pay prosecution costs to the tune of £12,074 by 30 May 2014, leaving him with a total outstanding bill of £248,519.63.

Since the sentence, Mr Ozkok has disappeared and it is suspected that he has returned to his native Turkey.

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