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Three men have received suspended prison sentences for profiting almost £400,000 from the sale of fake designer underwear. Over the course of almost two years, they sold over

18,500 counterfeit underwear pieces and more than 8,100 fake designer t-shirts.

The illicit activity came to light when a legitimate brand issued a cease and desist notice to an eBay account named ‘FANCY_INDEX’, known for selling fake luxury underwear. Following the notice, the account changed its name to TRUE.STYLES but resumed selling counterfeits later. This prompted an investigation by the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU), revealing substantial profits from the illegal sales.

The proceeds were funneled through bank accounts owned by Bashir Elsawahli and Guncha Elsawahli before reaching Pathum Percy Ponweera Arachchige Don. Authorities seized thousands of counterfeit garments during searches in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, in 2017 and arrested Bashir Elsawahli.

During the legal process, Bashir Elsawahli claimed he believed the items were genuine, attributing the operation of the eBay account and financial transactions to Don. Don was found guilty of trademark infringement, while Bashir and Guncha Elsawahli pleaded guilty to unauthorized trademark use and money transfer related to criminal activities.

Pathum Percy Ponweera Arachchige Don received a suspended 21-month sentence and 150 hours of unpaid work. Bashir Elsawahli was sentenced to 18 months, suspended for 18 months, and rehabilitation activity. Guncha Elsawahli received a 12-month community order and 75 hours of unpaid work.

Detective Constable Geoff Holbrook emphasized the risks associated with counterfeit purchases and the importance of avoiding such goods, highlighting the dangers and poor quality often linked to these items. Photo by Acather96, Wikimedia commons.