News item

Fake traders on eBay arrested in Scambusters operation

Two people, a man aged 30 years and a woman aged 32 years, have been arrested in Cheltenham in a targeted operation against sellers of counterfeit goods on eBay. Gloucestershire Trading Standards, South West Scambusters and Gloucestershire Police, acting on information supplied by the Federation Against Copyright Theft (‘FACT’), executed a warrant at an address in Upper Hatherley, Cheltenham and recovered a large quantity of counterfeit DVD box sets of popular TV series, such as Blackadder, True Blood and TSI Miami destined for unwitting consumers in the UK.
 
In addition, a substantial number of counterfeit service records for high-end cars were also seized.
 
The two arrested have been bailed to return to Cheltenham police station pending examination of evidence seized.
 
Stephen Meale, from Safer Bristol in Bristol City Council, said, ”This is a significant seizure, which demonstrates the need for vigilance when shopping on-line for products often bought as gifts but which may turn out to be fakes. Also we want people to be aware of the true nature of the trade in counterfeit goods, which is an illegal business shown to have clear links to organised crime and other criminality, and that attacks the livelihood of legitimate traders in a difficult economic climate. Once again we see the effectiveness of a multi-agency approach to enforcement.’
 
Kieron Sharp, FACT Director General, said, “FACT is delighted to be working with Scambusters and Gloucestershire Trading Standards to take action against sellers of counterfeit goods on auction sites. Innocent buyers of DVD box sets are being duped and getting inferior quality products and criminals are making substantial profits.”

The South West Scambusters Team is a specialist Trading Standards Investigation team targeting cross-border rogue trading and consumer fraud across the region. It is part of Bristol City Council’s Safer Bristol but works on behalf of the fifteen local authority Trading Standards services in the South West or nationally as directed by the National Trading Standards Board (NTSB).

The NTSB brings together trading standards experts from services across England and Wales to prioritise, fund and coordinate national and regional enforcement cases. It is responsible for gathering intelligence from around the country to combat rogue traders and tackle priorities such as internet scams, illegal money lending and other issues that go beyond local authority boundaries.
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For more information about this case contact the SW Regional Scambusters office on 0117 3521233 or to speak to the National Trading Standards Board regarding a more general enquiry please contact the Trading Standards Institute press office on 0845 6089430.


Notes to editors

The National Trading Standards Board (NTSB) is a group of senior and experienced local government heads of trading standards, representing all trading standards services across England and Wales. The Board was established by the Government to improve the enforcement of laws intended to tackle rogue traders operating both regionally and nationally who are causing harm to consumers and legitimate businesses. The NTSB also issues grants and funds national and regional initiatives such as SCAMBUSTERS, the Illegal Money Lending Team and the e-Crime Unit.

SCAMBUSTERS is a BIS (Department of Business Innovation & Skills) funded project aimed at targeting rogue trading and scams across England Wales & Scotland, supporting 62 local authorities, protecting 21 million consumers.

The Federation Against Copyright Theft is the UK’s leading trade organisation established to protect and represent the interests of audio-visual and sports rights owners against copyright and trademark infringements. Established in 1983, FACT works closely with statutory law enforcement agencies to combat the growth of online/internet based piracy of film and other forms of broadcast material as well as other continuing threats. More information: www.fact-uk.org.uk