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Crime

Horsham’s fake Facebook seller brought to justice

31-year-old Cerise Evans was found to be selling items like fake Rayban sunglasses and Ugg boots under the name ‘Pinky Smith’.

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A woman from Horsham who sold fake designer goods on Facebook has been brought to justice following an investigation by West Sussex Trading Standards.

Cerise Evans, 31 (Oakhill Road, Horsham) has been issued with a 12 month community order involving 120 hours of unpaid work.

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Trading Standards received complaints in October and December 2016 that Evans was selling counterfeit items on Facebook under the name ‘Pinky Smith.’

An officer made a test purchase of Ugg boots and Rayban sunglasses in May 2017.

These were confirmed as fakes.

A warrant was then granted to enter Evans’ home and counterfeit goods including Ugg boots, Rolex watches and Michael Kors bags, were seized.

Letters were also found from Surrey and Buckinghamshire Trading Standards services warning her against the sale of fake goods in 2015 and 2016.

Debbie Kennard, Cabinet Member for Safer, Stronger Communities, said:

“I would like to thank our Trading Standards service for bringing this individual to justice.

“Deceiving people into buying fake items is a serious offence that hurts both innocent buyers and legitimate businesses.

“I hope this outcome will deter anyone tempted to sell fake, branded goods in West Sussex.”

Trading Standards Team Manager Richard Sargeant added:

“We are committed to stopping the sale of fake goods in our county and will pursue anyone undertaking this illegal activity.”

Anyone who thinks they have been a victim of an unfair trading practice can contact Trading Standards via Citizens Advice on 03454 04 05 06 or online at: www.westsussex.gov.uk/tsreport

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Crime

Two jailed after attempt to smuggle 8.5kgs of cocaine through Gatwick

“This was a deliberate, if unsophisticated attempt to smuggle dangerous Class A drugs into the UK”, says Chris Capel, Assistant Director of Border Force South.

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The drugs, which had been wrapped in plastic and hidden inside boxes marked ‘rum’, weighed approximately 8.5kgs.

Two men from Barbados are facing a total of 13 years in jail after pleading guilty to attempting to smuggle an estimated 8.5kgs of cocaine into the UK.

On 1 September, Border Force officers stopped 62-year-old Grantley Herbert Thompson, and 30-year-old Jamal Ricardo Walcott, in the customs channels at Gatwick Airport’s North Terminal. Both had arrived on a flight from Barbados.

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During a search of their baggage officers discovered a white powder, wrapped in green plastic, and hidden inside boxes marked rum. The powder was subsequently tested and gave a positive reaction to the field test for cocaine. The cocaine had an estimated street value of £535,000.

Chris Capel, Assistant Director of Border Force South said:

“This was a deliberate, if unsophisticated attempt to smuggle dangerous Class A drugs into the UK and I commend the Border Force officers whose work ensured that Thompson and Walcott are now behind bars.

“Illegal drugs have a significant impact on our society, being the root cause behind countless burglaries, thefts and robberies. They are also used as a commodity by organised criminals linked to violence and exploitation of the vulnerable.

“We continue to work with our colleagues from the National Crime Agency (NCA) to do all we can to stamp out this despicable trade and bring those responsible to justice.”

The case was referred to the NCA and Thompson and Walcott were charged with importation of a class A drug.

62-year-old Grantley Thompson.

On Thursday, 11 October the pair appeared at Croydon Crown Court where they admitted the smuggling attempt. Both were sentenced to six years and six months imprisonment immediately.

30-year-old Jamal Walcott.

The Government’s Serious Violence Strategy, which was launched in April, aims to combat the devastating impact drugs have on levels of serious violence.

It also highlights a strong link between drugs and serious violence and the related harm and exploitation from county lines. The Government has set out the action it will take to tackle this violent and exploitative criminal activity. The action of Border Force to stop drugs before they get into the country forms a key part of this work.

Border Force officers use hi-tech search equipment to combat immigration crime and detect banned and restricted goods that smugglers attempt to bring into the country.

Nationally, they use an array of search techniques including sniffer dogs, carbon dioxide detectors, heartbeat monitors and scanners – as well as visual searches – to find well-hidden stowaways, illegal drugs, firearms and tobacco which would otherwise end up causing harm to local people, businesses and communities.

Anyone with information about activity they suspect may be linked to smuggling should call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or go to https://www.gov.uk/report-smuggling

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