Record Labels, Film, Technology
Central Scotland Police have completed their most successful anti-piracy raid in Scottish history. In a five-day operation officers from the Computer Crime Unit of Central Scotland Police, working with investigators from the UK record industry’s trade association The BPI (British Phonographic Industry) and FACT (Federation Against Copyright Theft) seized in excess of million worth of counterfeits – making 28 arrests in the process. The operation, codenamed Vendura, began several months ago when officers from the Central Scottish Police Computer Crime Unit, with assistance from anti-piracy officers from the BPI, began gathering intelligence at the local Scottish markets where the counterfeit trade is rife. Officers made their first move with dawn raids on houses in Tullibody, Falkirk, Grangemouth and Alloa. Police made a number of arrests at the scene as thousands of counterfeit CDs, DVDs and computer software and games were seized – complete with duplication equipment capable of creating hundreds of discs per day. Police then headed for Falkirk Market, a known hotspot for counterfeit goods, and arrested seven individuals, two of whom who investigators suspect to be “big players” in a targeted raid on their stalls as the market opened. The Sunday market in Stirling is another piracy hotspot, and a 7am raid led to two males being arrested outside their homes with their cars overloaded with counterfeit material suspected to be destined for sale at the market. A further 10.30am raid on one stall led to four arrests and further seizures before later raids on their homes uncovered yet more counterfeit stock. Later that morning – another male was detained arrested arriving at the market with counterfeit stock. His house was later searched and duplication equipment was recovered. The illion worth of counterfeit goods included 3,992 music CDs with both counterfeits (fake copies of chart albums, such as 2004 best-selling albums from Keane, Dido and Snow Patrol) and pirates (unauthorised single compilations and greatest hits albums) seized along with bootlegs (illegal recordings of live concerts). In addition 2,979 film videos and DVDs were seized including best selling Christmas titles such as Shrek 2 and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban along with new pre-release films such as The Incredibles and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. Duplication equipment with a value running into the tens of thousands of pounds was also seized, including 21 high-speed, high-capacity PCs, 2 additional “multi-burners” stacks of DVD and CD burners capable of creating thousands of fake discs per week, 15 colour printers and 6 scanners for inlay cards and fake packaging, 4 additional hard drives, for storing album artwork and “ripped” music and film masters for duplication, 12 monitors and thousands of blank CDRs, DVD-Rs, CD and DVD cases.