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Australian police seizes counterfeit DVDs worth an estimated $20 million

An investigation carried out by the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT), the Australian Taxation Office and New South Wales Police Force led to the dismantling of a large-scale counterfeit DVD distribution network in Sydney's North West.

Officers located and seized approximately 1.2 million suspected counterfeit high-quality DVDs, artwork, promotional inserts and packaging materials, a shrink wrapping machine, computers, documents, gift cards and cash.

The DVDs included local and international movie titles, television show box sets as well as music DVDs and CDs of local and international artists. Police were assisted during the raids by representatives from AFACT, as well as product security experts from Woolworths.

It is estimated the DVDs would have a retail value of more than $20 million and, if distributed, could have cost the Australian film and television industry more than $60 million.

It is alleged that the network was using multiple names, residential and business addresses and post office boxes to import high-quality counterfeit DVDs into Australia from an overseas source, and that the DVDs and accompanying artwork and promotional inserts were assembled and repackaged at the factory unit being sold over the Internet through multiple business names on auction sites.

The police says that more than 65,000 DVDs had already been sold to both individual customers and retail outlets, with sales exceeding $1.6 million.

Story filed 12.04.13

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