UK Raid Hauls in Fake Consoles

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A raid to investigate an illegal counterfeiting operation on eBay, the online auction site, lead to a husband and wife team in Kent and the seizure of 40 counterfeit Nintendo DS consoles – the first instance of its kind in the UK. The raid on Tuesday January 21 2009 by investigators from Bromley Trading Standards Department and the local police resulted in the seizure of 40 counterfeit Nintendo DS consoles packaged with potentially dangerous power units as well as game copying devices. In addition, 150 counterfeit games for the DS and Game Boy Advance systems as well as two laptops and a PC tower were seized at the home of the couple.

Invoices revealed that the couple had traded online over a two-year period using different identities. The early stages of financial investigation suggest a profit of more than £50,000 may have been made by the couple in December 2008 alone.

Further to a test purchase made on eBay this year, illegally copied Nintendo DS games were purchased for £40. This is the first instance of counterfeit games consoles being found for sale within the UK.

Michael Rawlinson, managing director of ELSPA, said: “The replication of video games software and hardware is illegal and has a negative impact on both local and national businesses. ELSPA would like to thank the thorough and professional investigation by Bromley Trading Standards department and local Police whose work with our investigators has stopped the illegal activities of yet another internet pirate."

Colin Bloom, Bromley’s Portfolio Holder for Public Protection and Community Safety added:"This authority will tackle any traders operating in the informal economy in order to protect honest local businesses as well as consumers.”

A POCA (Proceeds Of Crime Act) investigation has already begun to estimate the criminal gain from the offender’s illegal activities.

In : PC

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