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500,000 DVDs seized in UK's biggest counterfeit operations

Around half a million counterfeit DVDs have been seized by Manchester City Council trading standards officers during a raid on a suspected distribution centre. The haul is one of the largest ever of its kind in the UK, with the street value of the discs totalling £1.5m.

City Council trading standards officers, assisted by officers from Greater Manchester Police, seized the discs along with plastic sleeves and printed covers during a raid last week. The DVDs included copies of major UK and US movies as well as pornographic films.

Another three properties in Manchester were later raided the following day, and 10 people were arrested during the raids. They have been released on bail while further enquiries are made.

FACT, the Federation Against Copyright Theft, helped confirm the discs were counterfeit. The seized materials are now being stored at a secret location.

Kieron Sharp, FACT Director General, said: “This seizure of knock-off DVDs is one of the largest ever and shows the scale of the illegal trade in stolen film product. This is not a harmless activity – it brings crime to local communities, damages trade in local retailers and puts money into the coffers of organised criminal networks.

Story filed 16.09.08

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