Posted by Brian on 19th December 2007 at 12:53 AM
Christmas Crackdown Nets Bogus Blockbusters
Christmas bargain hunters are being warned to steer clear of dodgy DVD sellers after £300,000 worth of fake films was seized in Pendleton.
Salford Trading Standards, working with police, has seized around 20,000 of the discs from market stalls in a series of raids.
Titles taken in the crackdown ranged from The Bee Movie to 3:10 to Yuma, and even included The Golden Compass, only just released in cinemas.
Cllr Keith Mann, the council's lead member for environment, said unwary buyers were helping to fund organised crime as well as purchasing a poor quality product.
He added: "People selling these DVDs are not Del Boys out to make a few extra quid for the kids at Christmas. They might not be there when you hand over your cash, but the people behind these traders are often drug dealers or serious criminals involved in gun crime.
"If you think you're not doing any harm by picking up a bargain or getting the latest cinema release early, think about what you're really helping to pay for; that's the true cost of counterfeiting."
The DVDs were taken by police at Pendleton in a number of so-called "disruption raids" - high-profile, visible seizures of stock from market stalls aimed at unsettling the criminals as they try and cash in on Christmas.
All of the discs taken will be crushed and recycled.
Ron Pennington head of Salford Trading Standards said: "Our trading standards team is active all year round but we know Christmas can be a busy time for the counterfeiters so we work closely with the police to help protect the community."
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