€200k valuation of counterfeit clothing disputed in court

A MAN accused of running a counterfeiting clothes operation in Portlaoise has been sent forward to the circuit court, as the district court judge has refused jurisdiction due to the seriousness of the offence.

Zahid Chaudry, with an address at 20 Castle Drive, Kilminchy, Portlaoise, faced one charge of copying a work, and two charges of the unauthorised use of a trademark. The offences were committed at his home address on December 9, 2011.

The case had previously been adjourned for Judge Catherine Staines to decide on jurisdiction. Garda evidence estimated that the value of the goods seized was around €200,000, but at last week’s court defence for Chaudry argued that the garda estimate was based on the potential loss of full priced goods.

Defence claimed that the actual value could only be attributed to the garments seized and not the brand stickers, which meant that Chaudry had a case of circa €70,000 to answer to.

Judge Staines ruled that it was still not a minor offence and she refused jurisdiction. The matter was put back to February 14 for a book of evidence to be served.


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