£2m pirate DVD seizure is largest ever in UK | Over 800,000 discs seized and five arrested

FACT investigators were involved in the largest ever single seizure of pirate DVDs in a raid on premises in High Street, Dudley, West Midlands last week where five people were arrested.

In an intelligence led joint operation with West Midlands Police, Sandwell Trading Standards, BPI and ELSPA, warrants were obtained to search four premises – two shops and two home addresses.

The pirate DVD operation was centred on a shop in Dudley High Street, where a concealed entrance opened into an upstairs floor where DVD burners and PCs were located and a counterfeit DVD ‘wholesale business’ was in operation. The premises were also guarded by extensive CCTV coverage.

Over 800,000 pirate DVDs with a street value of over £2 million were arranged by film type and in alphabetical order. Counterfeit music CDs and video games were also seized. It is believed this enterprise was supplying a large number of traders across the West Midlands with pirate DVDs, CDs and video games.

Kieron Sharp, Director General of FACT, said: “This is a substantial blow to a sophisticated and sizeable counterfeiting operation trading in illegal copies of films and TV shows and we are grateful for the assistance of the local police and trading standards.

The message for anyone thinking of buying a pirate DVD is ‘don’t put money into the hands of criminals’. You are also harming local businesses and traders.”

BPI anti-piracy manager David Wood added: “Music fans buying counterfeit CDs are not only ripping off local shops and the artists and record companies who invest in new music, but lining the pockets of organised criminals. Commercial music piracy costs the industry more than £165m in lost sales every year, it fuels other areas of crime, and we welcome the police’s move to close down what was a hugely significant operation.”

Mike Rawlinson, Managing Director of ELSPA, commented: “The replication of computer and video games software and any other multimedia product is illegal and has a negative impact on both local and national businesses. ELSPA would like to thank the efforts of FACT and Sandwell Trading Standards in their attempts to protect legitimate local traders and remove illegal products from the marketplace.”

 

Categories

Latest News

News Prosecutions

Licensee ordered to pay £6,000 for illegal Sky Sports

On Wednesday 19th September, Mark Clennell, the Designated Premises Supervisor of The Wheatsheaf in Houghton le Spring, Tyne and Wear, [1], was convicted in his absence of two offences of dishonest reception of a television transmission, in this case, Sky televised football matches, with the intent to avoid payment of the applicable charge. Sky Sports … Continued

News Prosecutions

Licensees ordered to pay over £10,000 in fines & costs for Sky Sports infringements

Two licensees have been found guilty of ten offices of dishonest reception of a television transmission by showing Sky Sports to customers without a commercial agreement from Sky. FACT brought the criminal prosecution on 29 August at Preston Magistrates Court against the licensees for showing Sky Sports to customers without having a valid commercial viewing agreement in place.

News Partnerships Prosecutions

Pub Directors & Licensees Ordered to Pay a Record £327,405 for Illegal Sky Use

Following a successful prosecution by FACT, the licensees and company directors responsible for the running of the Prince of Wales in Stafford, the Beaufort Arms in Birmingham and the Pheasant Inn in Wolverhampton have been convicted of 64 offences and ordered to pay a combined total of £327,405 in fines and costs for showing Sky Sports illegally in their premises.

News Partnerships Prosecutions

Five year jail sentence for operator of major illegal streaming service

Mr John Haggerty, the owner of Evolution Trading, today appeared in Newcastle Crown Court for sentencing after pleading guilty to conspiracy to defraud and dishonestly obtaining services for another, contrary to the Fraud Act.