Bromley Trading Standards Department in Kent, England, has swooped in on a couple with 40 “potential death traps”.
The couple was found with 40 counterfeit Nintendo DS consoles packaged with potentially dangerous power units as well as game copying devices.
The sting came after an investigation into an illegal counterfeiting operation on eBay, and is the first of its kind in the UK. In addition, 150 counterfeit games for the DS and GameBoy Advance systems, as well as two laptops and a PC tower were seized at the home of the couple.
Their invoices revealed they had been trading for over two years using different identities. Estimates have revealed they may have turned a profit of £50,000 in December 2008 alone.
In a similar build up to the first pirate bust of the year, test purchases were first made to provide sufficient evidence to move forward with the sting.
Michael Rawlinson, managing director of ELSPA, said: “The replication of video games software and hardware is illegal and has a negative impact on both local and national businesses. ELSPA would like to thank the thorough and professional investigation by Bromley Trading Standards department and local Police whose work with our investigators has stopped the illegal activities of yet another internet pirate.”
A POCA (Proceeds Of Crime Act) investigation has already begun to estimate the criminal gain from the offender’s illegal activities.