Pirate DVDs seized in £30k Blackburn raid
POLICE and trading standards officers have seized hundreds of pirate DVDs worth an estimated £30,000 in a raid on a house in Blackburn.
They swooped on the terraced house in Bromley Street on Wednesday.
More than 800 multi-disc box sets of current films and TV series, and £16,000 in cash, were seized.
Titles taken included recent series from top-rating shows such as Game of Thrones, Walking Dead, Bones and Outnumbered.
Trading standards staff from Lancashire County and Blackburn with Darwen councils joined forces with the Lancashire Police to jointly serve a warrant.
Officers believe a bogus Preston address was used on an eBay site and a network of bank accounts set up to hide illegal money.
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It is believed the enterprise would have raised many thousands of pounds from selling the fakes as genuine DVDs on the internet.
Wednesday’s raid is the latest in a series of operations to tackle the counterfeit DVD problem in Lancashire.
In a recent case a man from Chorley received a suspended jail sentence and 100 hours community order in March this year for running an illegal internet business, selling counterfeit titles such as White House Down, Despicable Me 2 and Evil Dead to the public.
County councillor public protection boss Janice Hanson said: “This raid sends a clear message that illegal activity including the sale of counterfeit goods will not be tolerated in Lancashire.
“There should be a level playing field for honest retailers who sell genuine goods and pay their taxes.
“In today’s tough economic climate, the council will continue to work hard to protect our legitimate shopkeepers by removing illegal operators from the marketplace.”
A 22-year-old man has been helping officers with their inquiries.
A county council spokesman said: “Investigations are continuing into the seizure while consideration is given to possible charges under trademarks legislation for a large-scale eBay trader.”