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A joint operation between Lewisham Council, local police and the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) led to a successful raid on residential premises in Deptford on 8th August.
The address was under suspicion of being a distribution centre for counterfeit DVDs – the sale of which is a serious problem in South East London.
The operation resulted in more than 3,000 counterfeit DVDs being seized, as well as large quantities of plastic DVD cover sleeves, genuine and counterfeit money and fake National Insurance documents.
The raid also uncovered what are believed to be the first known counterfeit copies of ‘The Bourne Ultimatum’, which is only released this week in UK cinemas.
Along with the haul officers also seized pornographic DVDs and a quantity of illegally imported cigarettes.
John Pye, Principal Trading Standards Officer at Lewisham Council, said: “The operation is a great example of joint working by the Council, the police and investigators from the Federation Against Copyright Theft.
Counterfeiting is known to have links to organised crime and that extends beyond what officers found here today. Counterfeit goods, and increasingly counterfeit DVDs, are on the increase and we will continue to work with our partners to make sure that we keep our eyes and ears open to stamp out these illegal ‘businesses’ in Lewisham.
Lewisham Council remains committed to ensuring that fair-trading is carried out in Lewisham for the benefit of consumers and local trade and business. Consumers have a right to receive value for money and trade and business should not be subjected to unfair competition from those operating outside the law.”
Kieron Sharp, FACT Director General, said: “The sale of counterfeit DVDs in South East London is part of a wider national problem. There are sophisticated organised criminal enterprises making substantial profits from their illegal operations and we are working with the police and councils across the UK to target them.
People should be aware that in purchasing a pirate DVD they are helping to fund criminal organisations and are also affecting the livelihoods of local retailers and their employees.”