DVD gang jailed
A gang which has been jailed for a �7million illegal DVD scam were supplying the high street. A father, his two sons and another man were sentenced last week following a three year police operation involving factories which supplied fake DVDs to illegal
A gang which has been jailed for a �7million illegal DVD scam were supplying the high street.
A father, his two sons and another man were sentenced last week following a three year police operation involving factories which supplied fake DVDs to illegal Chinese immigrants in Kilburn High Road.
Sami Asghar-Sheikh, 28, and brother, Rafi Asghar-Sheikh, 26, both of North Chingford, were sentenced to six years each and their father, Khalid Asghar-Sheikh, 53, of North Chingford was sentenced to four years.
Xin Li, 34, of Waltham Forest was sentenced to two years and three months.
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Police caught the gang following a raid on residential and business premises in North Chingford, Harlow in Essex and Walthamstow on June 13 2006.
The court heard that they supplied organised crime groups who used a workforce of illegal Chinese immigrants who "burnt" the DVDs in factories and sold them on the streets.
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They were also highly active in the illegal distribution of unregulated pornographic material.
The trial exposed the brothers who set up a company in 2003 under the guise of a legitimate business. Their Chinese distributors worked around the clock in conditions of 'virtual slavery', the court heard.
Kieron Sharp, The Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) director general, said:
"This was not a small scale business - this was a well run and highly organized criminal enterprise with links to international crime gangs that are impacting on the livelihoods of the tens of thousands of people who work in the UK film and TV industries.
"The result and sentencing in this case sent a very strong message to those who are operating large scale criminal businesses making and selling counterfeit DVD's."
Detective Chief Superintendent Nigel Mawer, of the Met's Film Piracy Unit, said: "This sentencing is the result of three years' hard work and investigation into the activity of an extensive criminal network.
"Film piracy is not a victimless crime and it is crucial that the public ask themselves if they want to play a part in the exploitation of vulnerable people by buying illegal DVD's.