Police raids have uncovered an organised criminal gang operating an illegal DVD making factory across South East England.
In operations on Monday and Tuesday three men were arrested on suspicion of fraud by false representation and for copyright theft.
On Monday (June 21st) City of London Police detectives, working with the Federation Against Copyright Theft (‘FACT’), arrested a 34 year-old man at a printing premises in North London and seized around 900,000 printed inlays and 10,000 DVDs.
Put with a counterfeit DVD, these would add up to a street value of over £2.5m.
At the same time a second team of officers moved in on a residential premises and found 144 burning trays capable of producing over 70,000 counterfeit discs a week.
Yesterday officers arrested a further two men, aged 57 and 54.
The operations across the Capital are part of a joint and ongoing investigation between FACT and the City of London Police into what they believe is a major counterfeiting operation.
Detective Chief Inspector Dave Clark, from the City of London Police’s Economic Crime Directorate, said:
“Illegal DVD production on this huge scale can produce both illicit earnings and the potential revenue that can fund other elements of organised crime, inclusive of drug and human trafficking.
“Counterfeiting can seem like a victimless crime but the reality is it causes huge damage to the film and music industry and has a detrimental effect to the UK economy both on employment and tax revenue.
“This is why we will continue to operate in close partnership with FACT and work to ensure the criminal networks who run these factories are dismantled and the perpetrators brought to justice.”
Kieron Sharp, FACT Director General, said:
“City of London Police and FACT are working closely together to identify those organised criminal gangs which control the illegal trade in counterfeit DVDs.
This involves the whole supply chain, from the ‘burning’ of the DVDs to the printing of the artwork that goes in the packaging and the subsequent sale on the streets of London and other parts of the UK and then identifying the criminal profits and seizing them.”