Police officers, anti-piracy agencies and the Hull Council Trading Standards took to the streets of Hull to round up known counterfeiters earlier this week (8 December).
Behind the scene teams of detectives and anti-piracy investigators from the Federation Against Copyright Theft have been conducting a covert operation at markets at Walton Street and Craven Park over the last six months.
The hard work resulted in 12 targeted suspects were arrested for counterfeiting offences.
Charges have been brought against seven of those suspected counterfeiters and all those charged are due to appear at the Kingston upon Hull Magistrates Court on Wednesday 17 December 2008.
A further five suspects have been released on police bail pending further enquiries.
A large quantity of counterfeit optical media and money were seized during the raids.
At two addresses computer equipment for copying were confiscated, while a electric stun gun was also seized.
In summing up Operation Cobra so far, Detective Sergeant Mike Reed said: “Counterfeit goods costs the music and film industry millions of pounds each year and this multi-agency operation shows that it will not be tolerated in Hull.
“I am pleased with the success of Operation Cobra. With many of those targeted being arrested and charged yesterday and facing courts in the next couple of weeks.
“I would also like to reiterate to people that buying counterfeit goods supports an illegal trade which can put puts many people’s jobs at risk within retail and the entertainment industries.”
Kieron Sharp, Director General of FACT, said: “We are delighted to be working with Humberside Police and all the agencies involved to crack down on the illegal trade in counterfeit goods.
“Walton Street Market has been a problem for a number of years with the overt sale of counterfeit DVDs and we welcome any moves to tackle this ongoing problem.”
Enquiries are still ongoing to identify two of people linked with alleged counterfeiting offences.
Two person did identify themselves to police after seeing themselves in the media.
Anyone with information about suspected counterfeiters are urged to contact Humberside Police, tel 0845 60 60 222 or CrimeStoppers anomalously on 0800 555 111.