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Makro fined for selling fake Calvin Klein jeans.

RETAIL giant Makro sold fake designer jeans to unsuspecting customers at its Kirkby store.

The cash and carry firm was found guilty of three breaches of the Trade Descriptions Act 1968 and three breaches of the Trade Marks Act 1994 at St Helens magistrates court.

Knowsley council brought the prosecution after trading standards officers seized 217 pairs of counterfeit Calvin Klein jeans.

Makro was fined a total of pounds 12,000 and ordered to pay costs of pounds 23,500.

Two other companies involved in the supply chain were also fined.

Rishworth Chase Ltd was ordered to pay pounds 18,000 with pounds 39,375 costs, and Brandsearch International Ltd was fined pounds 2,000 with pounds 5,875 costs.

The investigation began in May 2003 when trading standards officer Michael Roberts found 25 pairs of fake jeans at the Hornhouse Lane store.

They were analysed by independent experts in the UK and Italy.

Two representatives from Calvin Klein's Italian headquarters flew into the UK to give evidence.

They told the court invoices purporting to prove the authenticity of the jeans had been forged.

Knowsley council trading standards manager Mike Leyden said: "I would suspect that the last place a person expects to encounter counterfeit goods is on the shelves of a reputable national trader."

A spokesperson from Makro said: "Makro endeavours to ensure that the products it sells are of the highest quality and are genuine. Makro regrets this incident.

"At no time did Makro intend to deliberately deceive or mislead anyone. Since this incident in 2003, Makro has reviewed the system for checking the source of products to ensure that such an incident will not re-occur."

CAPTION(S):

GENUINE: Kate Moss wearing Calvin Klein jeans
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Feb 11, 2006
Words:287
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