Wandsworth Council is warning consumers to be on their guard after a 25-year-old was jailed for the biggest imported fake jewellery racket ever.
A 25-year-old was jailed for the biggest imported fake jewellery racket ever in Wandsworth last week.
Zanghong Zheng of Draycott Court, Battersea, was arrested in 2010 after an investigation by Wandsworth’s trading standards officers.
Tests on the fake jewellery revealed that they contained high levels of poisonous nickel.
Zheng had amassed £3 million worth of counterfeit jewellery and handbags with designer labels like Chanel, Gucci and Dior, and was selling them in markets across London.
Wandsworth Councillor Jonathon Cook said: “Not only were the goods poor value for money, but they were positively dangerous.”
The jewellery contained levels of nickel up to 28 times higher than health and safety laws allow. Nickel poisoning can cause cancer and even death.
Councillor Cook said: “I would warn consumers to be on their guard while doing their Christmas shopping and only buying luxury goods from reputable trade outlets.”
Zheng came to the UK in 2003 from China on a student visa.
Officers believe he was running the racket for two years.