Pirate DVD factory raided – street value of over £1m a week | Third major London operation dismantled since February

At approx midday on 21.05.06 local officers from Walthamstow borough discovered a large counterfeit DVD and cannabis factory at premises in East Walthamstow, E17.

The Met officers were on patrol in the area, which is known for stolen and abandoned vehicles being dumped at the location when, on further investigation they discovered a huge DVD factory with approx 40 DVD towers, each with 9 DVD burners, 8 DVD label printers and 2 industrial sized machines, which appear to have recently been delivered. The factory would be capable of producing over 300,000 DVDs a week with a street value of over £1m.

Officers also discovered a cannabis factory attached to the unit – containing approx 115 cannabis plants.

London Regional Assets Recovery Team (RART), Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT), Waltham Forest Trading Standards and officers from the Met’s Film Piracy Unit have been working at the location and have found tens of thousands of pirate DVDs as well as a large number of blank DVDs. These include hundreds of film titles and a large amount of pornography. Amongst the titles found were copies of ‘The Da Vinci Code’, which was only released in cinemas last week.

The factory also contained cramped and squalid living quarters, including bedding and a kitchen area. The operation was capable of 24-hour production of counterfeit DVDs.

DCI Tristram Hicks, RART who will be working with the Film Piracy Unit on this investigation said,

“This is an incredible discovery by local officers from Walthamstow borough. This factory has been designed to be a 24-hour operation. All of our suspects were living and sleeping on the premises, which have the capacity to produce hundreds of thousands of pirate DVD’s a week. Today’s arrests are a good example of how Met officers are tackling organised crime in and around the capital. These people have the capacity to be involved in a variety of crimes and we continue to strive to put them out of business.”

Raymond Leinster, FACT Director General added:

“Thanks to the diligence of officers from Walthamstow another major pirate DVD factory has been taken out of operation. The subsequent investigation by the Regional Assets Recovery Team and the Film Piracy Unit should provide detailed intelligence on the criminal network behind this factory.

This is the third major pirate operation dismantled since February in the Greater London area and emphasises the increased focus by Met Police officers on film piracy.”

Five men and two women were arrested at the location. They have been taken to an East London police station.

Latest Content

News

RAF Corporal convicted of conspiracy to defraud

A serving Corporal in the Royal Air Force (RAF) who sold illegal services which provided access to premium sport, TV and films has been sentenced to ten months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months. He was convicted of conspiracy to defraud and loss of service property and also received a reduction to his rank. The Corporal, … Continued

News

FACT webinar – Production and Piracy: Trends and Tips

Whilst film production has had to adapt to the restrictions posed by COVID-19, demand for content is at an all-time high. That also means many people are resorting to finding content via illicit sources, depriving rights owners and creators of their legitimate revenues. In a changing world with so many uncertainties it’s never been more … Continued

News

Three in five consumers unaware of the hidden dangers of piracy: fraud, malware and identity theft

62% of people in the UK unwittingly putting themselves and their new gadgets at risk through piracy New research commissioned by FACT has shown that three out of five people in the UK (62%) are unaware of the hidden dangers of piracy – fraud, identity theft and malware – or its links to criminal gangs. … Continued

News

Thousands of subscribers to illegal streaming service warned by police

More than 7000 residents, believed to have been using an illegal TV streaming service, are set to receive warning notices this week from Lancashire Police. The Police cyber-crime unit is issuing the warnings to subscribers of an IPTV service which allows users to illegally stream premium channels at a reduced rate. Subscribers will receive the … Continued