Two people, a man aged 30 years and a woman aged 32 years, have been arrested in Cheltenham in a targeted operation against sellers of counterfeit goods on eBay. Gloucestershire Trading Standards, South West Scambusters and Gloucestershire Police, acting on information supplied by the Federation Against Copyright Theft (‘FACT’), executed a warrant at an address in Upper Hatherley, Cheltenham and recovered a large quantity of counterfeit DVD box sets of popular TV series, such as Blackadder, True Blood and CSI Miami destined for unwitting consumers in the UK.
In addition, a substantial number of counterfeit service records for high-end cars were also seized.
The two arrested have been bailed to return to Cheltenham police station pending examination of evidence seized.
Stephen Meale, from Safer Bristol in Bristol City Council, said, ”This is a significant seizure, which demonstrates the need for vigilance when shopping on-line for products often bought as gifts but which may turn out to be fakes. Also we want people to be aware of the true nature of the trade in counterfeit goods, which is an illegal business shown to have clear links to organised crime and other criminality, and that attacks the livelihood of legitimate traders in a difficult economic climate. Once again we see the effectiveness of a multi-agency approach to enforcement.’
Kieron Sharp, FACT Director General, said, “FACT is delighted to be working with Scambusters and Gloucestershire Trading Standards to take action against sellers of counterfeit goods on auction sites. Innocent buyers of DVD box sets are being duped and getting inferior quality products and the livelihoods of those who create, sell and distribute genuine products are being threatened.”
The South West Scambusters Team is a specialist Trading Standards Investigation team targeting cross-border rogue trading and consumer fraud across the region. It is part of Bristol City Council’s Safer Bristol but works on behalf of the fifteen local authority Trading Standards services in the South West or nationally as directed by the National Trading Standards Board (NTSB).
The NTSB brings together trading standards experts from services across England and Wales to prioritise, fund and coordinate national and regional enforcement cases. It is responsible for gathering intelligence from around the country to combat rogue traders and tackle priorities such as internet scams, illegal money lending and other issues that go beyond local authority boundaries.