News item

Jail for seller of fake Bollywood DVDs

The owner of a DVD and CD shop selling counterfeit copies of Bollywood movies was sentenced to eight months in prison at Ealing Magistrates’ Court on 2 October.

Mr Avtar Singh Malhotra, owner of Unit 1 Palika Bazaar, 39 The Broadway, Southall was prosecuted for possessing 147 DVDs and 19 counterfeit CDs which were seized by Ealing trading standards officers at two separate raids on 7 September and 24 October 2013. 

Malhotra was found guilty of committing offences under the Trade Marks Act 1994, the Video Recordings Act 1984 and the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act. Magistrates sentenced him to two four-month prison terms – one each for the goods seized on September and October – to be served consecutively for a total of eight months. 

Malhotra has already served a prison term being prosecuted on 10 November 2011 for selling counterfeit DVDs some of which were pornographic. 

Ealing trading standards produced five bags’ worth of counterfeit films and CDs as evidence at the hearing on 2 October; which were seized by officers during the two raids. 

The court also heard that trading standards had written to Malhotra on 26 September 2013 advising him that the DVDs they had seized had been confirmed as fakes by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) and that he risked possible prosecution if he failed to remove them immediately from sale. 

Malhotra denied ever receiving the letter when officers made their return visit to the store in October. 

Ealing Council’s leader, Councillor Julian Bell said: “Mr Malhotra has a history of selling illegal DVDs for which he was previously imprisoned. I find it extraordinary that this punishment was not enough to deter him from committing exactly the same offences.  

“Selling counterfeit, unclassified DVDs and CDs is an extremely serious offence and we’re committed to protecting residents and preventing fraudulent traders from exploiting their customers. Looking at the bigger picture, the trade of illegal goods finances things like organised crime and has implications on the national economy too so retailers who persistently offend can expect to receive the full force of the law.”

DATE: 14 October 2014