20,000 counterfeit 'Frozen' dolls are seized by customs
Mire than 20,000 counterfeit dolls of characters from the popular Disney movie 'Frozen' that were destined for the black market have been seized by Customs.
The toys were discovered in a container which had been shipped from China and could have fetched up to €600,000 on the high street.
It's understood the toys are similar to the highly sought-after Elsa dolls which have sold out across the country.
The seizure comes after retailers said counterfeit toys had become more lucrative than illegal cigarettes in the run-up to Christmas.
The discovery was made on Wednesday at Dublin Port as the result of routine profiling by the Revenue's Customs Service.
A spokesperson warned that the dolls could be unsuitable for children due to not having to comply with health and safety regulations.
"Revenue would like to take this opportunity to remind members of the public that the purchase of counterfeit goods is damaging to legitimate businesses and, because of the lack of regulation of the way in which they are produced, can pose serious health and safety risks to consumers and in this case to the children who may have received them as presents."
Spokesman from Dublin Chamber of Commerce Graeme McQueen said: "It's encouraging to hear that they caught them. The black market costs companies money. It's positive that they've caught them at this stage.
"It's been a tough few years for retailers, and this is the first year there's been a bit of light. Anything that can be done to protect businesses who do things properly and adhere to the law and proper practice is a good thing."
Earlier this week, the Irish Independent purchased one of the counterfeit 'Toddler Elsa' dolls for just €15 on Dublin's Henry Street.
Unlike some of the official products, the doll cannot speak or sing, while the 'Frozen' logo and other branding on the box appears to have been photocopied or scanned.
The official version of the 'Toddler Elsa' doll currently retails for €29.99 at Smyths Toys - but will not be available for purchase until March 2015.