The Metropolitan Police and Waltham Forest Trading Standards in a joint initiative with FACT (Federation Against Copyright Theft) on Wednesday raided a major pirate DVD manufacturing facility and made five arrests. The premises contained over 500 individual DVD burners capable of producing over 60,000 pirate DVDs per day, with an estimated daily street value in excess of £250,000 (c. £1.7m per week).
The raid in Leyton followed an investigation into the supply of counterfeit DVDs across London and the South East and also involved officers from the Met’s new Film Piracy Unit (FPU), a joint initiative with FACT. Officers from the FPU will be conducting a detailed investigation into the finances surrounding the pirate operation.
Titles seized in the raid include Ice Age 2, which only goes on general UK cinema release today (Friday), and over 300 other titles.
One female and four males were arrested and taken to a police station in east London. Enquiries continue.
Gavin Douglas, Group Manager, Public Protection for the London Borough of Waltham Forest said: “Waltham Forest Trading Standards is pleased to work in conjunction with FACT and the Met Police to act against DVD pirates operating in the borough and this week’s action shows the benefits of such a multi-agency approach. Waltham Forest has a zero tolerance attitude to organised counterfeiting and will continue to enforce this policy. We also believe that the raid will have a major impact on the pirate DVD sellers operating in the local area and will help reduce the criminal activity brought into local communities by this and associated crimes.”
Raymond Leinster, Director General of FACT added, “This operation in conjunction with Waltham Forest Trading Standards, Waltham Forest Police and the Met’s Film Piracy Unit, is another major intervention against Chinese organised crime in the UK. FACT is determined to work together with the Police and other enforcement bodies to ensure that we continue to disrupt the supply chain and affect the distribution of counterfeit films across the UK.”