Officials from British trade organisation ELSPA (Entertainment & Leisure Software Publishers Association) have announced that two businessmen from Scunthorpe in the East Midlands of England have been convicted of running the largest copying operation ever in the area.
Forhad Miah and his brother Ajad Miah were sentenced at Grimsby Crown Court on February 3rd after their shop, AJ Computers, and home address was raided by North Lincolnshire Trading Standards officers and local police. The judge also awarded two Trading Standards officers a rare Judge's Commendation for their involvement in the operation.
During the 2003 raid, more than 13,000 items were seized including pirate videotapes, CDs and DVDs. The pair had been selling pirate copies of games and film both online and from their store. They were charged with conspiracy to produce counterfeit product, with Forhad sentenced to serve 15 months and Ajad nine months.
"We are pleased with the cessation of this major counterfeiting operation, which not only caused loss to the games, music and film industries, but also had a detrimental effect on local retailers," said ELSPA deputy director general Michael Rawlinson. "ELSPA would like to thank everyone involved for their hard work and we hope the sentences handed out will act as a strong deterrent to other would-be pirates."