Seven arrested in car boot software swoop

Joint operations between Police and trading standards net computer game and DVD counterfeiters.

Police and Trading Standards officers have arrested seven people as part of crackdown on software counterfeiting.

Two women aged 40 and 21, and a 25-year-old man, were arrested at a car boot sale in Cannock, Staffordshire. The three were detained for the production and distribution of counterfeit goods and money laundering. Four other people were also arrested for money laundering and conspiracy to defraud. All are currently on police bail.

Authorities searched the home addresses of several of those arrested, revealing copied games, DVDs , and over £18,000 in cash.

The arrests were part of a wider operation which began in August this year. Operation Carter, involved representatives from the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA), Staffordshire Trading Standards, Police and the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT).

"These crimes are taken very seriously and joint operations such as this one will continue to target car boot sales across the country. Our multi-agency approach is very successful and anyone involved in this type of activity can expect a visit from the police very soon," said DS Garry Helsby of Staffordshire Police.

In the two months since Operation Carter began, seizures of counterfeit goods have reached £2m. ELSPA claims that over £2bn is lost every year by the UK games industry to software counterfeiting.

"This operation has dealt a severe blow to those trading in counterfeit products and makes it clear that piracy will not be tolerated," said ELSPA director general Michael Rawlinson.

ELSPA was founded in 1989 to provide a voice for the UK computer games industry.