By Matt Mallinson
Oldham Council has helped to take down a Russian crime gang who are believed to have been selling fake CDs, documentation and computers.
This is the first case of a high quality counterfeit industry being operated by a Russian organised crime gang within the UK.
Trading Standards, Greater Manchester Police and the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) teamed up to raid an address in Shaw after intelligence was gathered by the BPI.
David Wood, Director of Copyright Protection said: “Making vast sums of money off the back of fake CDs and DVDs via an international network is harmful to music stores online and on the high street, damaging towards investment in new artists, and simply wrong.
"We would like to thank Oldham Council’s Trading Standards and Greater Manchester Police for their ongoing commitment to tackling illicit trading.”
Materials seized for forensic investigation have now been passed on so the case can be dealt with by GMP.
It is suspected that the fake CDs were being sold via an online marketplace.
Councillor David Hibbert, Cabinet Member for Housing, Planning and Highways said: “High quality counterfeit CDs can be difficult for the average shopper to spot and as a result consumers are often tricked into thinking they are buying the genuine item.
“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."