Police Stumble Across Fake Movie Factory


By Alexander Lawrie 

POLICE carrying out a routine drugs raid had a pleasant surprise – when they stumbled across a huge stash of cocaine, weapons and more than 10,000 counterfeit DVD’s.

The Aladdin’s Cave of illegal goodies included the bags of coke, cannabis, swords, knives and a stun gun.

During the search, cops also found over 10,000 fake movies worth at least £50,000.

Senior officers have hailed the operation as a “great result” for the force in both the crackdown against drugs and counterfeit products.

A 40-year-old man has been reported to the Procurator Fiscal in connection with the discovery, which took place in Edinburgh on Saturday. (10/01)

Along with the weapons officers also confiscated a number of fake Playstation 2 games, three DVD ‘burning towers’ and a computer.

The equipment is thought to have been used to churn out thousands of pirate films as part of a large counterfeit goods operation.

Officers from the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) said the discovery of drugs weapons and the dodgy DVD’s demonstrated the link between counterfeiting and organised crime gangs.

Chief Inspector Donnie MacKinnon from Lothian and Borders Police said: “This is a significant discovery, and a great result for our officers.

“The illegal production and sale of counterfeit DVDs is something that Lothian and Borders Police take very seriously.

“It is important to stress that this is not a victimless crime, and we will continue to work closely with our colleagues from the Federation Against Copyright Theft to crack down on copyright criminals.”

The illegal films, video games and software are usually sold by gangs who visit pubs, homes, offices and local markets to sell their goods.

Customers are usually charged around £5 for each disc.

Kieron Sharp, FACT Director General, said: “The seizure of a large quantity of illegal drugs alongside counterfeit film and TV product highlights the serious criminal intent of those involved in film and TV piracy.

“FACT thanks Lothian and Borders Police for their ongoing efforts to tackle such criminality.”

The find is the second major pirate DVD factory uncovered in the capital in the last nine months.

A total of £750,000 worth of counterfeit goods was found in a property in the city last April after police received a tip-off.

The haul included almost 6000 movies, 2300 MP3 discs, 300 video games, 868 computer software discs and 885 pornographic DVD’s.

FACT estimates film piracy costs the UK industry almost £500 million a year, while the worldwide figure is thought to be around £1.7 billion per year.