Two arrested for counterfeit games and illegal chipping service

Raids on two separate addresses to investigate an illegal counterfeiting operation has lead to the arrest of two people in the Scottish Highlands. Further to Friday’s raids, a large number of items including consoles and games have been seized as part of the ongoing fight against Intellectual Properly (IP) Crime by investigators from ELSPA (the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association) working in partnership with the local police and trading standards.

Prior to the raids, investigators from ELSPA and Highland Council Trading Standards made several test purchases. The undercover transactions yielded a Nintendo Wii™ console and more than 20 counterfeit games. The packaging of these games even featured ‘ads’ encouraging buyers to purchase further counterfeit titles.

Michael Rawlinson, managing director of ELSPA, said: “Friday’s raids were the result of a very thorough and professional investigation by The Highland Council Trading Standards and our own diligent investigators. It highlights our commitment to stop in their tracks illegitimate traders – those prepared to profit unfairly from the creativity and hard work of others.”

Alistair Thomson Head of Environmental Health and Trading Standards for The Highland Council, said: “This operation shows that we will not tolerate anyone selling counterfeit goods in Highland. The supply of counterfeit goods has strong links to organised crime and not only affects the people who develop and produce the genuine items but also the local businesses who sell them and the innocent consumers who are duped into buying them. We work closely with Northern Constabulary and ELSPA in our sustained fight against this type of product counterfeiting.”

D.S. Alex Chisholm from Northern Constabulary’s Central Division Pro-active Team continued: “We will continue to carry out intelligence- led operations like this with our partners to target those involved in organised crime within our force area”

Ends

18 Feb 2009
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