News item

Two arrested in fake chart-topping CDs raid

Detectives from the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) arrested two people in Lancashire yesterday (8 May) morning following an investigation into a suspected counterfeit CD operation believed to be making tens of thousands of pounds.

A man, 28, and woman, 27, were arrested at their home in Morecombe, Lancashire after morning raids by the City of London Police unit.

The pair were arrested on suspicion of selling illegally copied CDs including hits from US superstar Beyonce to the latest chart topping albums by UK artists Paloma Faith, Paolo Nutini and Embrace. They are believed to be selling the high-quality fakes through an online marketplace which are then shipped directly from an overseas source.

PIPCU launched the investigation following a referral from the British Recorded Music Industry (BPI).

The two were taken to a local police station for questioning whilst officers from the unit searched their home and seized a number of CDs, documentation and computers.

DCI Andy Fyfe, Head of PIPCU, said “The creative industries in the UK are a real success story however intellectual property (IP) crime is costing them millions of pounds each year and is putting legitimate businesses and jobs across the industry at risk. 

“PIPCU is committed to preventing and disrupting IP crime and will continue to work with our partners across all industries to tackle those criminals who are ripping off UK businesses across the globe.”

Director of Anti-Piracy at the BPI, David Wood said, “High quality counterfeit CDs can be difficult for the average shopper to spot and as a result consumers are often duped into thinking they are buying the real deal.  Not only does this mislead music fans but it generates money for those trading illegally at the expense of legitimate high street retailers and businesses trying to make an honest pound. 

"I would like to thank and acknowledge the professionalism of the City of London Police in this investigation.”

Notes to editors

The Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) is a specialist police unit dedicated to protecting the UK industries that produce legitimate, high quality, physical goods and online and digital content from intellectual property crime. 

The operationally independent unit launched in September 2013 and is initially being funded by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO), which is part of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. 

PIPCU is based within the Economic Crime Directorate of the City of London Police, the National Policing Lead Force for Fraud.

Follow us on twitter at @citypolicepipcu

Website: http://www.cityoflondon.police.uk/pipcu  

DATE: 9 May 2014