Issued By
West Yorkshire Trading
Standards Service
 

Interagency Swoop on Counterfeiting

In the early hours of Monday 7th July 2003 representatives from West Yorkshire Police, West Yorkshire Trading Standards, British Phonographic Industry (BPI), the Department for Work and Pensions and the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) swooped on a Huddersfield counterfeiting factory.

After sharing information about the suspect, the agencies obtained entry warrants to the premises. Two people were arrested at the premises, where officers seized three specialist PC’s, which were used solely for copying and over two thousand music CD’s, DVD’s, VCD’s, in addition to adult material, games and paraphernalia connected to copying. Copies of recently released, or still to be released films and music were found. The £150,000 haul removed from the property contained master copies of “Charlie’s Angels – Full Throttle”, covers for “The Hulk” and multiple copies of Glastonbury 2003 a music CD from the festival that only ended Monday 30th June 2003.

Councillor Graham Clarke Chairman of the Trading Standards Committee; “It is encouraging to see so many authorities working together in this operation. It sends out a message that we will not tolerate counterfeiting in this area and we are capable of forming strong teams to make a stand against it.”

West Yorkshire Trading Standards and the Department for Work and Pensions, with the expert advice and guidance from the BPI and FACT will be investigating the situation further. Not only was the suspect earning a significant amount of money from this illegal trade he was also claiming benefit to supplement his income.

A spokesperson for the Department for Work and Pensions stated, ”Benefit fraud is a very serious offence, not a victimless crime. Every man, woman and child loses when benefit is claimed fraudulently. The Department’s investigators work on a regular basis with other agencies to combat this type of crime. If anyone has information that may help with other investigations they should contact the Benefit Fraud Hotline on 0800-854-440.”

David Martin – Director of Anti-piracy for the British Phonographic Industry said; “The BPI is very grateful for the assistance from the agencies involved. Music Piracy is a very serious problem affecting the livelihoods of genuine traders and ultimately costing the music industry millions of pound in lost sales.”

For further information contact:

Paul Smith, Principal Officer 0113-289-8219

Graham Hebblethwaite Divisional Manager/General Media Contact 0113-289-8218

Department for Work and Pensions 0800-854-440

The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) www.bpi.co.uk

The Federation Against Copyright Theft Limited (FACT) 020-8568-6646