Jeweller fined £70k for hallmarking offences

A Birmingham jeweller has been sentenced to 10 weeks imprisonment, suspended for six months, and ordered to pay a total of £70,673 after pleading guilty to 21 offences, under the Hallmarking Act 1973 and Trade Marks Act 1994.

Umran Rafiq, trading as Asian Jewellers based in Alum Rock Road, Alum Rock, was ordered to pay £10,673 in costs plus a further £60,000 under the Proceeds of Crime Act and to complete 60 hours unpaid work, during the sentencing at Birmingham Crown Court.

Birmingham City Council brought the case against Rafiq after Trading Standards officers seized 22 pieces of jewellery during an inspection on 19 January 2012. The items were submitted for examination by the Assay Office and relevant Trade Mark holders.

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Of the 22 items 14 were not hallmarked while eight rings bore trade marks for BMW, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Nike and Playboy, which Rafiq did not have permission to use.

Cllr Barbara Dring, Chair of Birmingham City Council’s Licensing and Public Protection Committee, said: “People should be able to have confidence when they are buying valuable goods, like gold jewellery, that they are of the quality they purport to be.

“A number of the rings seized by our officers also broke regulations on the use of Trade Marks, which consumers may not be aware of – but this is why it’s important for Trading Standards to take action and bring cases like this to the public’s attention.

“Global brands that have been built up over decades of hard work do not deserve to be damaged as a result of their logos being used on inferior or unlicensed products.”