A leather handbag with a clutch that doubles up as a deadly knuckleduster, fake Ugg boots, iPhones, Rolex watches, and Dr Dre headphones were among a haul of counterfeit goods ordered by Midland shoppers over the internet.
UK Border Agency officers seized 20,000 parcels containing 500,000 illicit items worth £24 million at Coventry Airport this year.
The agency has warned that unsuspecting customers are not only left out of pocket, but could be putting their own safety at risk by exposing themselves to dangerous and unregulated products.
Ordering fake goods also cheats HM Revenue and Customs out of sources of duty and VAT.
In the run up to Christmas and rise in internet shopping, Border Agency officers were warning people who may think they have grabbed a bargain online to check the authenticity of the website before clicking buy.
Other items in the illicit haul at Birmingham Airport’s Air Cargo Centre included illegal DVDs, football shirts, cannabis plants, items made from endangered species, GHD hair straighteners, golf clubs, and beauty products.
Senior officer David Dodds, from the UK Border Agency, said: “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. People are attracted by cheap prices and you have to be careful about the websites you are using.
“One of the things that should alert people is the price for example a pair of Ugg boots might be around £20 online and if people see this price, they should be suspicious as they can cost up to £200.”
Richard Staveley, from Solihull Trading Standards, said: “Customs will alert us once they have seized something. We will then look at tracing the items back through the system to see where they have come from and where there is a safety issue, we can alert other European countries.”