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Chinese gangs selling child porn helped by High Road traders

PUBLISHED: 12:40 09 July 2009 | UPDATED: 14:37 24 August 2010

EXCLUSIVE by Will Davies Child porn is being sold by illegal DVD sellers on the High Road, the Times can reveal. Chinese gangs are flooding Kilburn with their counterfeit films and many businesses are helping the immigrants evade arres

EXCLUSIVE

by Will Davies

Child porn is being sold by illegal DVD sellers on the High Road, the Times can reveal.

Chinese gangs are flooding Kilburn with their counterfeit films and many businesses are helping the immigrants evade arrest by stashing their stock and tipping them off when police move in.

Many even let the sellers use their shops as hideouts when they are on the run.

These alarming revelations were revealed by Carmen Jones, Camden Council's senior community safety officer for the Kilburn High Road working group.

In an exclusive interview she told the Times: "Businesses are not taking it seriously - many shop owners are buying the DVDs themselves. People don't understand what that money goes towards: child porn, and drug trafficking. Some of the films they sell are child porn, funded by profits from the films.

"A member of the public contacted us and told us that someone had bought illegal DVDs, not realising what one of them was. When he realised he went back and beat up the seller.

"It is horrible to think that so many people are not aware of that side of it."

In a recent crackdown by Ms Jones' team, which brought together police and Trading Standards, scores of sellers were arrested and their goods and money confiscated.

However the cash for these costly operations has now run out, and until more can be found Ms Jones is urging businesses to sign up and help tackle the sellers.

She said: "We want them to display posters in their shops, and stop assisting the sellers by hiding them inside their shops when the police are chasing them. Many businesses acknowledge they have to pay rates and don't want their customers driven away by these sellers. There needs to be more self-regulation."

Her team will be talking to kids in schools and trying to discourage their parents from buying the films, which most people see simply as a cheap DVD.

The authorities would like to track down the factories where the films are made, but cannot do so without more money.

There is also no permanent way of getting rid of the sellers.

She added: "China won't take them back because they tear up their passport. They get a fine, a short term in jail and then they are back on the streets.

"If we could get China to take them back it would solve the problem."

w.davies@archant.co.uk


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