At approx 11.30 this morning (13.06.06) police officers from the Film Piracy Unit and Territorial Support Group at the Met police have arrested ten people believed to be involved in a large criminal network dealing in film piracy.
The raids were carried out in North Chingford, Harlow and Walthamstow at residential and business premises. Utilizing intelligence from a number of sources including FACT (Federation Against Copyright Theft), IFPI (International Federation Phonographic Industries) and Waltham Forest Trading Standards, the Met’s Film Piracy Unit were able to target a successful criminal network dealing in the production of counterfeit DVD’s.
The factory, at industrial premises in Harlow, is believed to be a supplier sustaining the production of counterfeit film products by criminal networks in London, the South East and Home Counties.
Two men and a woman were arrested at business premises in Walthamstow, a further three men were arrested at business premises in Harlow. They have all been arrested on suspicion of:
(1) Conspiracy to launder the proceeds of criminal conduct
(2) Conspiracy to produce counterfeit film product
A further man was arrested in Harlow on suspicion of possession of a Class A drug.
All of the above seven have been taken to an Essex Police Station.
Three men arrested during the raid have been bailed to return to a police station at a later date.
No one was arrested at the raid in North Chingford.
Searches are ongoing.
Detective Superintendent Trevor Shepherd, Economic and Specialist Crime Directorate said:
“Today’s arrests are key in closing down a large proportion of the film piracy industry in the south east. By working with our partners (FACT) we have been able to take a pre-emptive strike against the top tier of a successful criminal network.”
Raymond Leinster, FACT Director General, said:
“This is a significant success for the Met’s Film Piracy Unit working together with FACT. The focus of this operation is to dismantle a commercial entity sustaining the large scale manufacture and distribution of counterfeit film media. We welcome the in depth financial investigation under the proceeds of crime act associated with today’s raids.”