UK police seize thousands of fake CDs in Merseyside raids

Officers from the City of London Police's Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) seized counterfeit CDs worth an estimated £170,000 (around $208,000), during an operation in the Wirral, Merseyside.

Two searches were carried out at commercial premises on Indigo Road and Eastham Village Road on June 21, while a third took place at a residential address on Sutherland Drive. All told, officers intercepted 32,254 fake CDs which were being sold on Amazon.

The CDs were identified as counterfeit by Amazons counterfeit crimes unit and the British Phonographic Industry trade association and were reported to PIPCU. One man was arrested during the warrants and has since been released under investigation.

"Counterfeit CDs can have a damaging effect on legitimate businesses and cause substantial losses to artists and the music industry," said PIPCU police staff investigator Andy Cope.

"It is also important for the public to remember that sales from counterfeit goods can fund other forms of criminal activity, such as modern-day slavery and drug dealing," he added. "This operation should send a strong warning that the sale of counterfeit goods will not be tolerated."

While illegal streaming services have been the main avenue for the consumption of copyright-infringing content in recent years, the operation reveals there is still demand among the public for older media formats like CDs.

In 2019, a study by The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) – which represents major labels like Sony Music, Universal Music, and Warner Music – claimed that 25% of CD orders that were from third-party sellers but fulfilled by Amazon were counterfeit products.

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