Scotland Raid Nets 14 Pirates

Fourteen people were arrested and £1 million ($1.82 million) worth of counterfeit product was seized Aug. 17 during a multi-agency raid on Paddy's Market in Glasgow, Scotland.

LONDON -- Fourteen people were arrested and £1 million ($1.82 million) worth of counterfeit product was seized Aug. 17 during a multi-agency raid on Paddy's Market in Glasgow, Scotland.

The British Transport Police, which owns the land on which the markets are situated, was involved in the operation, along with Strathclyde Police, the Department for Work and Pensions, Glasgow Trading Standards and investigators from industry bodies the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), the Federation Against Copyright Theft, and games trade body ELSPA.

The operation marked the third raid in two months on the venue, which the BPI describes as one of the United Kingdom's "most notorious piracy hotspots."

According to the BPI, nine of the arrested traders are being questioned over benefit fraud, and all suspects will be reported for infringements under the Copyright and Trademarks Act. Both offenses carry a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment.

"This is yet another example of what can be achieved through a multi-agency approach to tackling piracy," comments David Martin, director of the BPI's anti-piracy unit. "These counterfeiters are career criminals who rip off both the music industry and the taxpayer. Thankfully, government, Trading Standards and police are becoming increasingly aware of this fact and are moving decisively to tackle the problem," he says.

The British government's Patent Office last week unveiled a national strategy to crack down on intellectual property theft.

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