DVD shopminder’ starts new life behind bars
PUBLISHED: 19:01 04 June 2008 | UPDATED: 13:20 05 October 2010
A MAN working in an illegal DVD warehouse’ is behind bars after a raid by trading standards officers which netted 7,000 hardcore porn and 36,000 pirate DVDs. Police arrested the 30-year-old who admitted in court offences under the Trade Marks Act and Video Recordings Act. Police and trading standards officers raided the factory in Bethnal Green in March where they uncovered the DVDs worth £90,000
A MAN working in an illegal DVD 'warehouse' in London's East End is behind bars after a raid by police and trading standards officers which netted 7,000 hardcore porn and 36,000 pirate DVDs.
Police arrested 30-year-old Bao Chen who admitted in court offences under the 1994 Trade Marks Act and the 1984 Video Recordings Act.
The officers, acting with officials from the Federation Against Copyright Theft, raided the factory in Cornwall-avenue, Bethnal Green, in March.
They found fake and unclassified DVDs and cover sleeves with a street value of £90,000.
"It was effectively a warehouse and Mr Chen was 'minding the shop'," prosecutor Paul Valder told Snaresbrook Crown Court on Friday (May 30).
"He knew the DVDs were fake. The loss to the record industry would have been about £204,000."
Chen had played no part in selling the DVDs. His role was to open boxes and sort them out, the court heard.
But the judge Mr Justice Bing warned him: "If I thought that you personally had substantially gained financially from this, your sentence would have been much longer.
"The address you were found in was a warehouse under the disguise of a residential flat and you played a significant part."
Chen was sentenced to two years for contravening trade mark law, 12 months for counterfeiting DVD titles, 12 months for contravening Video recording law and 12 months for the unclassified pornographic DVDs, the sentences to run together.
A confiscation order was also made for the DVDs, which were later being destroyed.
Tower Hamlets council cabinet member Abdal Ullah said after the hearing: "This was one of the biggest hauls of illegal DVDs we've had in the East End.
"People walking round our streets don't want to be hassled by illegal DVD sellers or having this kind of thing shoved in their faces, or worrying that their children are going to see DVD covers featuring pornography."
Selling fake goods hits legitimate businesses, he pointed out, by flooding the market with cheap imitations that make it impossible for them to compete.
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