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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

City council officer highly commended for role in oil drilling operation

17 May 2011.

A trading standards officer for Peterborough City Council who discovered one of the largest ever hauls of counterfeit goods in the country has been highly commended in the Anti-Counterfeiting Group Individual Awards 2011.

Rob Edmunds was nominated for the award after leading the investigation into Adrian Belson (56) of Oundle Road, Peterborough, and his company Gripp Belgique based at Godric Square, Peterborough.

Rob spent a day-and-a-half every week for 18 months building a case against Belson, who was sourcing counterfeit oil drilling equipment parts from China which he then passed off as genuine and sold on at a vastly inflated price to oil drilling companies in the Arab States. The court heard the scam could potentially have earned Belson and the business hundreds of thousands of pounds.  In August 2010 Belson was handed a two-and-a-half year jail sentence and his company was fined £20,000 at Peterborough Crown Court.

At the Anti-Counterfeiting Group Individual Awards on Thursday 5 May 2011 at Tortworth Court, Gloucestershire, Rob was Highly Commended for the role in played in the investigation. He received a certificate and £250 which he can spend on Trading Standards Institute courses, surveillance equipment, satellite navigations units, digital cameras or IT equipment for either himself or the city council's trading standards team.

Councillor Peter Hiller, cabinet member for housing, neighbourhoods and planning, said: "I am delighted that the immense number of hours Rob put into this investigation have been recognised and celebrated by the Anti-Counterfeiting Group. Much of his time was spent viewing 16 gigabytes of memory from two computers, which tracked the company's records over a 20 year period. 

"This investigation halted a unique and sophisticated counterfeiting enterprise worth hundreds of thousands of pounds. Had these parts been sold and put into a working environment then we simply could not have guaranteed their quality, reliability or safety as there were significant differences between these parts and the genuine items.”

Peter Gell, Peterborough City Council's strategic regulatory services manager, added: "This case was one of the most well thought-out and deceptive counterfeit goods case I have come across in many years. It took a great deal of time to build a case against Belson and Rob did a superb job leading the investigation. I am pleased that he has been recognised for the time he invested in this case. Belson's actions may not have directly affected people living in Peterborough, but the implications were far reaching and effects could have been disastrous."

Residents who have information on counterfeiting activity within Peterborough should call Consumer Direct on 08454 040506 or can pass on details by emailing trading.standards@peterborough.gov.uk.

Ends.