Two stores raided for fake goods
"Jesus Christ! A dah store yah mi did a go guh inna enuh. Mi can't believe mi walk come so far fi nutten," a pregnant woman said when she saw yellow tape barring the public from entering two stores that were being raided on Barry Street, adjacent to Matthews Lane, in downtown Kingston yesterday.
"Yuh nah go in deh today, enuh. Di police dem a seize everything," said a man, who was moving his goods from the area that was cordoned.
The woman, who says she shops at one of the stores regularly, was shocked to hear that several things being sold at the location were 'knock-off.'
"Everything fake?" the woman asked.
Despite learning that she had unknowingly bought counterfeit items from the store, she did not believe that it was reason enough for the goods to be confiscated.
NOT A BIG CRIME
"When mi see di yellow tape, mi think a somebody dead. Mi can't believe a dat. A nuh big crime, a likkle crime dat," she shouted as she walked away in disgust.
And even as the police were continuing their operation, numerous passers-by and onlookers sympathised with the two Chinese nationals who were arrested.
Shawn, who was among the group, explained that the store was frequented by vendors who sell on the streets, as they would purchase their goods from the store in bulk to resell.
"Weh dem a go lef di likkle poor people weh buy things fi do? A in deh so di whole a dem buy things," he said.
And as the counterfeit goods, estimated to be more than $100 million in value, were being loaded on to a truck, one man shouted: "Mi wouldn't mind get two a dem bag deh fi start out life. A wonder how much dem woulda sell mi a bag a di goods fah?"
But even while some members of the public bemoaned the fact that goods were being taken away, Assistant Superintendent of Police Victor Barrett said that the sale of fake goods is deceitful and could cause health problem to unsuspecting shoppers.
Among the fake brands found in the store were Gucci, Nike, Louis Vuitton and Converse.
Barrett said that if and when a court order is granted, the goods would be destroyed.
The raid was the second in downtown Kingston within two weeks.