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Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 December, 2004, 11:50 GMT
Fakes seized in anti-piracy raids
Central haul
Some of the PCs and other items seized in the central raids
Illegal CDs, DVDs, computer software and games worth 10m have been seized in central Scotland.

Twenty-eight people have been arrested in raids on houses and markets in Falkirk, Stirling, Tullibody and Grangemouth over the past five days.

The counterfeit haul recovered during Operation Vendura is being described as one of the biggest in the UK.

Among the items were copies of The Incredibles, Bridget Jones 2 along with duplication equipment.

The operation began several months ago when officers from the Central Scotland Police Computer Crime Unit started gathering intelligence from local markets where the counterfeit trade is said to be rife.

Last Friday, dawn raids were carried out on homes in Tullibody, Falkirk, Grangemouth and Alloa. Thousands of items were taken and a number of arrests were made.

Operation Vendura
28 arrests over five days
30 raids at 28 private addresses and two markets
10m-plus worth of items seized
3,992 music CDs
2,979 videos and DVDs
1,452 porn and computer discs
21 high-speed PCs, burners, printers seized
15 suspects to be reported to fiscal on copyright and trademark charges
The following day Falkirk Market was targeted where seven people were arrested as traders opened their stalls.

On Sunday, the operation moved to Stirling Market, described by investigators as "another piracy hotspot", where more raids took place and further arrests were made.

During Monday and Tuesday, there were further arrests in the Falkirk and Stirling areas after investigations uncovered counterfeiters selling goods on websites and using viral email marketing.

Christmas boom

The British Phonographic Industry's investigator for Scotland, Pat Ferguson, said: "We've done smaller raids in the region before but nothing on this kind of scale.

"The haul is particularly welcome timely given the expected annual boom in counterfeit trade during the Christmas period."

David Nolan, spokesman for the police computer crime unit, said: "We have carried out several operations but this is our biggest yet.

"It's not uncommon for police to assist trading standards and BPI in detecting counterfeit criminals however this is the first time in Scotland that detective officers have become involved in such an integrated operation."




SEE ALSO:
Bid to pull plug on pirate DVDs
22 Nov 04 |  Scotland
Raid lands 1m of pirated goods
16 Sep 04 |  Scotland
Crackdown nets 3m in fake goods
25 Jun 04 |  Scotland
Raid recovers 5m bootleg discs
24 Jun 04 |  Scotland
Dodgy goods seized in market raid
19 Apr 04 |  Scotland


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