The Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) at City of London Police has seized 3,000 counterfeit electrical toothbrush heads which, if genuine, are estimated to have been worth a total of £45,000.
Officers from PIPCU, supported by Amazon’s global Counterfeit Crimes Unit (CCU), searched two addresses on Woodstock Road and Davidson Terraces in Newham, east London, on 12 May 2023. One man was arrested on suspicion of distributing articles infringing trademarks and the acquisition of criminal property.
Police Staff Investigator Adam Watkins, from the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) at City of London Police, said:
“Counterfeit products don’t meet required safety standards. Consumers expecting to receive a branded product, famous for its quality and design, will often end up with an inferior and potentially dangerous imitation.
“Like many other counterfeit healthcare products, these toothbrush heads pose a health risk to consumers. They are often made in unsanitary environments and from substandard materials, which can cause the brush head to detach and become a choking hazard.”
The toothbrush heads were seized after a consumer goods manufacturer identified that the suspected counterfeit products were being sold on Amazon and referred the case to PIPCU. Officers then worked with the manufacturer and Amazon’s CCU, which provided information on the products.
Approximately £6,000 in cash was seized from the premises searched and will now be subject to confiscation proceedings.
The man arrested has since been released under investigation.