Officers from the City of London Police’s Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) seized counterfeit CDs worth an estimated loss to the industry of £169,708, during warrants in the Wirral, Merseyside.
Two warrants were carried out at commercial premises on Indigo Road and Eastham Village Road on Tuesday 21 June 2022. A third warrant took place at a residential address on Sutherland Drive.
Officers from PIPCU, with the support from the North West Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (NWPIPCU), seized 32,254 fake CDs which were being sold on Amazon. The CDs were identified as counterfeit by Amazon’s global Counterfeit Crimes Unit and the British Phonographic Industry and were reported to PIPCU.
Police Staff Investigator Andy Cope, from PIPCU, said:
“Counterfeit CDs can have a damaging effect on legitimate businesses and cause substantial losses to artists and the music industry.
“It is also important for the public to remember that sales from counterfeit goods can fund other forms of criminal activity, such as modern-day slavery and drug dealing.
“This operation should send a strong warning that the sale of counterfeit goods will not be tolerated. It also shows the effectiveness of partnership working in tackling intellectual property crime, and I’d like to thank Amazon, the British Phonographic Industry and NWPIPCU for their support.”
Kebharu Smith, Director of the Amazon Counterfeit Crimes Unit, said:
“Amazon will keep investing and innovating to stay ahead of counterfeiters so that customers can shop with confidence in our store.
“We will also continue working with trade organisations and law enforcement – as we have done here successfully with the British Phonographic Industry and PIPCU – to hold bad actors accountable.
“We don’t just want to chase them away from Amazon – we want to stop them for good.”
Paola Monaldi, Head of Content Protection at the British Phonographic Industry, said:
“The BPI welcomes the warrants carried out by PIPCU. Music fans love genuine CDs and vinyl – they are an important way for people to enjoy and gift music, and for creators to benefit.
“Genuine physical formats account for over 20 per cent of industry revenues from all purchased and streamed music. But creators don’t receive a penny from counterfeits because the money goes to criminals.
“That’s why the BPI continues to take action to protect consumers from fake CDs and to work closely with the police and in partnership with online marketplaces like Amazon. We look forward to the next phase of this investigation, and to continuing our other work to reduce physical infringement in the UK.”
Matthew Cope, Deputy Director of IP Enforcement at the Intellectual Property Office, said:
“Counterfeit goods such as these cause real social and environmental harm, damaging legitimate businesses. Such goods are often defective, undermine consumer confidence and help sustain criminality.
“The IPO continues to support operational activity to clamp down on the sale of such illicit goods, working in partnership with the police and industry to help protect communities from this type of crime.”
One man was arrested during the warrants and has since been released under investigation.