A man caught working in an illegal DVD ‘warehouse’ in London has been jailed for two years after pleading guilty to offences under the Trade Marks Act 1994 and the Video Recordings Act 1984.
Trading Standards Officers from Tower Hamlets, together with police and FACT representatives, raided an address in Cornwall Avenue in March this year and found around 43,000 pirate DVDs, 7,000 of which contained hardcore pornography.
Snaresbrook Crown Court was told that the man found working there, Bao Chen, played no part in the sale of the DVDs and was effectively just ‘minding the shop’.
Chen was sentenced to two years imprisonment under the Trade Marks Act and 12 months under the Video Recordings Act, to run concurrently. A forfeiture order was also made for the DVDs, which will now be destroyed.
Sentencing, Justice Judge Bing said: “These are very serious offences. The flat in which you were found was a warehouse under the disguise of a residential flat and you played a significant part. If I thought that you personally had substantially gained financially from this then your sentence would have been much longer.”
Tower Hamlets Council’s Lead Member for Cleaner Safer Greener Councillor Abdal Ullah said: “Our Trading Standards and legal teams work very hard with the police and with FACT to crackdown on the trade of illegal DVDs in the borough. This was a huge result for them all – it was one of the biggest hauls of illegal DVDs we’ve had in the borough. People walking round our streets don’t want to be hassled by illegal DVD sellers by 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 hard and it floods the market with cheaper products making it hard for reputable businesses to compete. On a broader scale, film piracy is making vast profits for organised criminal networks in the UK and worldwide.”