A Strangeways shop council bosses say flogs ‘counterfeit clothes’ has been shutdown.
Town hall chiefs say it was ‘found trading illegally in a premises that lacked any Covid-19 safety measures’.
Police, trading standards and Home Office officials raided the Bury New Road shop on December 3, Manchester council said in a statement.
After cutting open security shutters, inside, officials found two staff and six customers.
None of whom were wearing masks, the council said.
There was no hand sanitiser and the shop was said to be cramped with inadequate ventilation.
Two staff members were arrested on suspicion of immigration offences.
A Manchester council spokesperson said the likelihood of Covid transmission inside the shop was ‘extremely high’.
“Given the higher rate of infections in northern wards of Manchester, it was vital that this operation was shut down,” they added.
Yesterday (Wednesday) Manchester council issued an order to close the shop under the Health Protection Act.
A review will be held every seven days until the council is satisfied that the business can trade safely.
The spokesperson added: “Given illegal activity was taking place the premises is likely to be closed for some time.”
Coun Rabnawaz Akbar, executive member for neighbourhoods for Manchester council, said: “This closure is an example of just what we are fighting against when we talk about the counterfeit goods industry.
“The criminals who perpetuate this trade do not care about anything other than the bottom line.
“If that means putting the public at risk and allowing them to shop in cramped premises in the midst of a pandemic then make no mistake, that is what they will do.
“We are aware of other places like this operating in the area and as a council we will continue to gather intelligence on criminal activity, and ultimately use all of the powers at our disposal to close them down.
“These shops are illegal, they put money into the pockets of criminals and now more than ever are a clear risk to the safety and wellbeing of our communities.”