Portsmouth police officers raid city home over counterfeit CDs and DVDs claim

RAID A police officer leaves the property with the seized discs
RAID A police officer leaves the property with the seized discs

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Police have arrested a man on suspicion of running a pirate CD and DVD racket from his Portsmouth home.

Officers from Portsmouth’s City Centre Unit swooped on a three bed roomed house in Hillsley Road, Paulsgrove, and held the 40-year-old shortly after 9am today.

Working with investigators from the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) and the Association for Interactive Entertainments, police obtained a warrant after receiving an anonymous tip off through the Crimestoppers charity.

Officers seized laptops and more than 100 CDs and DVDs from the property.

The suspect is alleged to have made the pirate material at his home and sold it online via a website, offering deliveries across Portsmouth, Lee-on-the-Solent, Leigh Park, Waterlooville and Gosport.

He is accused of offering a service modifying Xbox 360 games consoles to enable them to run illicit games.

The suspect was taken to Portsmouth’s central police station and quizzed on suspicion of manufacturing and supplying counterfeit CDs and DVDs under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

Sergeant Rob Sutton, of Portsmouth’s City Centre Unit said: ‘We have acted on information received from Crimestoppers and FACT, an arrest has been made, computer equipment and a large quantity of suspected pirate DVDs and gaming software have been recovered and we are in the process of closing down a website.

‘The property we have seized needs to be forensically examined.

‘The victims [in these types of crime] are all of the people who are involved in the film making industry, they spend a lot of money producing these films and they need money to pay for that.

‘The money earnt by these gangs is often used to pump drugs into countries and also for human trafficking. Our information from FACT is that there are organised gangs from London and they are trafficking people in from Asia who are then forced to sell these pirate DVDs on the streets.

‘We will act on any information that comes through from FACT or Crimestoppers and arrest those involved in piracy.’

Andy Payne, chairman of The Association for UK Interactive Entertainment, said: ‘UKIE’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit works tirelessly to combat the illegal trading of games and interactive entertainment. The raid on a property in Portsmouth today shows the commitment that the games and interactive entertainment industry has to stamping out intellectual property theft, which is a hugely damaging crime both to the individuals whose creativity is stolen and to the businesses that make up Britain’s video games and interactive entertainment industry.