Massive haul of fake DVD and Nintendo games

Sandwell Council Trading Standards and West Midlands Police, assisted by investigators from FACT (Federation Against Copyright Theft), seized fake DVDs and Nintendo Wii games with street value of nearly £300,000 in a raid on a property in the Rowley Regis area of Sandwell last week.

Counterfeit copies of recent films including The Mummy 3, The Dark Knight and Mamma Mia and Nintendo Wii games such as Mario Olympics and NBA 08 were among items captured.

Following intelligence received from FACT, an early morning raid at the property last Thursday (November 27) saw the seizure of a substantial quantity of ‘master’ discs capable of being used to produce multiple copies of well-known films and games. Officers started at 5.30am and were still working until 10.30pm.

Around 9,000 discs with an estimated street value of £250,000 were seized with approximately 1,000 Nintendo Wii games with a market value estimated at up to 40,000. Top quality printing and computer hardware were also seized.

Two people were arrested and bailed pending further investigations and are facing criminal charges.

Councillor Mahboob Hussain, Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for neighbourhoods & housing, said: “Sandwell Trading Standards has developed an excellent reputation for targeting and stamping out illegal activity involved with the counterfeiting and piracy of computer software.

“Such illegal trade damages legitimate businesses and deceives the public who receive poor quality inferior goods.”

Sandwell Council’s Trading Standards Manager Bob Robinson said: “Anyone in Sandwell who is either trading in counterfeit goods, or even thinking of doing so, should beware – you could be next to receive an early morning call!

“We are determined to protect legitimate business and adequately protect the public from becoming the recipient of sub-standard products.”

Kieron Sharp, Director General of FACT, said: “The trade in counterfeit DVDs over the internet is not a harmless activity but serious and organised criminality that FACT is working to attack in conjunction with law enforcement agencies across the UK. This criminality affects the livelihoods of the tens of thousands of people who work in the UK film and TV industries.

“I would like to thank West Midlands Police and Sandwell Trading Standards for their assistance and their continued efforts to fight this problem.”

Michael Rawlinson, Deputy Director General of ELSPA, commented: “Software counterfeiting is not just a back bedroom scam, but a serious offence, often with links to organised crime.

“ELSPA would like to thank Sandwell Trading Standards for their work in bringing this investigation to a successful conclusion, helping to protect local traders and the general community from the effects of pirated goods.”

Categories

Latest News

News Partnerships Prosecutions

Three sellers of illegal streaming devices jailed for a total of 17 years for defrauding Premier League

Three sellers of illegal streaming devices have been jailed for a total of 17 years for conspiracy to defraud; some of the longest sentences ever issued for piracy-related crimes.

News Partnerships Prosecutions

£13,000 recovered from convicted trader after re-offending

The Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU) has secured the repayment of more than £13,000 from William Marston, a convicted trader, after he had evaded payment for over two years.

News Prosecutions

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

Mark Clennell was convicted in his absence of two offences of dishonest reception of a television transmission, with the intent to avoid payment of the applicable charge. FACT brought the criminal prosecution at Sunderland Magistrates Court.

News Prosecutions

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

Two licensees have been found guilty of ten offences of dishonest reception of a television transmission by showing Sky Sports to customers without a commercial agreement from Sky.