Issued By
West Yorkshire Trading
Standards Service

FOUR ARRESTED IN £1 MILLION COUNTERFEIT SMASH

Counterfeiters in Bradford had the sting taken out of their tails on Sunday 20th July, when a multi-agency operation involving officers from West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service, West Yorkshire Police, the BPI and FACT smashed a £1 million counterfeit ring at Cannon Mills market, Bradford. During the operation, a number of suspect traders were targeted, resulting in four arrests and a massive seizure of counterfeit goods, including illegally copied music, computer software, videos and DVDs. Film titles seized at the market and from other premises included “Pirates of the Caribbean”, which is not actually due to be released in the UK until early autumn of this year.

Martin Wood, West Yorkshire’s Chief Trading Standards Officer commented:
“This operation exemplifies the serious stance that we take towards counterfeit goods. We have a duty to secure a fair market place in West Yorkshire by ensuring traders operate legally and fairly. The sale of counterfeit goods undermines the local economy, costing jobs and misleading consumers. If people trade illegally in this way they must realise that such offences carry a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment”.

Councillor Graham Clarke, Chairman of West Yorkshire Trading Standards Committee stated: “It’s important that criminals trading in counterfeit goods are shown that we will not tolerate their actions in West Yorkshire. We will continue to work in partnership with other agencies to stop these poor quality goods reaching the market place.”

Sgt Paul Hepworth of the Bradford North Police Community Safety Department, said: “Along with the other agencies involved in the operation we are determined to do what we can to tackle the illegal sale of this type of material. Music piracy costs the entertainment industry a fortune and the amount of goods that were seized on Sunday is quite staggering.”

David Martin the Director of Anti Piracy at the British Phonographic Industry added:
"I am again very grateful for the outstanding assistance of West Yorkshire Trading Standards and their Police colleagues for their invaluable assistance in taking action at this notorious market where several traders were caught dealing in pirated goods."

For further information please contact:

Dennis Ager, Trading Standards Officer, tel 01132 898 220
Paul Smith, Principal Officer, tel 01132 898 219
Graham Hebblethwaite, Divisional Manager/General Media Contact, tel 01132 898 218