Arrests and major seizures in Northern Ireland, Scotland and NW England

NORTH-WEST ENGLAND

FACT’s regional investigator, working with local Police and Trading Standards, has helped seize over 90,000 pirate DVDs from markets in the North-West.

Over the past 3 weeks, teams have targeted some of the area’s blackspots for sale of pirate material, including DVDs, CDs and computer games, and have followed up with further seizures at some home addresses.

Markets and seizure totals as follows:

Lever Street, Bolton, Lancs: 12,000 DVDs and 13 related arrests; further raid led to another 9,000
Salford Market, Greater Manchester: 1,000
Greymare Lane, Manchester: 9,000 on one raid; 3,000 on a further raid
Cocksparrow Lane, Staffordshire: 23,000
Great Homer Street, Liverpool: 7,000
Stanley Docks, Liverpool: 18,000

Kieron Sharp, FACT Director General, said: “This shows the benefit of good cooperation between agencies targeting criminals seeking to profit from selling pirate DVDs. These criminals operate not just in the run up to Christmas but all year round. By combining the seizure of pirate material and the use of intelligence based investigation we can disrupt the supply to the public and bring to justice those making sizeable criminal profits from their illegal activities.

The sale of pirate goods on these markets also brings harm to the local communities and attracts other criminality and we ask the public to report anyone selling pirate DVDs via our website: www.fact-uk.org.uk or by ‘phoning  0845 60 34567″.

NORTHERN IRELAND:

Four people arrested following a major search operation at houses and a market at Sackville Street in Londonderry earlier today have been charged with a total of 19 charges under both the Copyright Act and Tradesmarks Act. All four, two women aged 24 and 33 years and two men aged 24 and 55 years are expected to appear at Londonderry MC at 10am on Thursday 11 January 2007.

In a further search in the Hazelbank area of the city what has been described as an extensive counterfeiting plant was discovered by police. Among the items seized were around 800 DVDs, 200 CDs and a significant quantity of computer equipment. A man and a woman were arrested and subsequently released on bail pending further enquiries.

It is believed that the total value of items seized during the operation was over £33,000 including a sum of cash.

SCOTLAND:

SEIZURE OF COUNTERFEIT GOODS WORTH IN EXCESS OF THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND POUNDS – PADDY’S MARKET, GLASGOW

Strathclyde Police Officers, working in conjunction with officers from the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) and BPI have seized counterfeit goods with an estimated value in excess of three hundred thousand pounds.

DVDs, CDs and copying equipment were recovered in the operation at Paddy’s Market in Glasgow on Tuesday 19 December 2006.

DVDs include recent film titles such as Borat The Movie, The Holiday, Happy Feet and Déjà Vu.

Among the CDs recovered were Now Dance 2007, U2-18 Singles and The Beatles Love.

Two men, aged 21and 24 years, and one woman, aged 29 years, will be reported to the procurator fiscal following the seizure.

Superintendent Stewart Miller, based at City Centre Police Office, said:

“The raid at Paddy’s Market was intelligence led and is part of an ongoing joint operation.

“Strathclyde Police is committed to working in partnership with other agencies to deliver maximum impact on the illegal market of counterfeit goods.”

John McGowan, FACT Senior Investigator, added:

“These types of crime are not victimless, and I can reassure traders and their customers that FACT in partnership with Strathclyde Police is committed to targeting criminals who profit from this fraudulent activity.”

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