$19 mil worth of fake ware seized, 28 held

STIRLING, Scotland — Police seized £10 million ($19.1 million) worth of counterfeit CDs, videos, DVDs, computer games and software after raids in central Scotland on Wednesday, the most successful antipiracy raid in the U.K.

Police last Friday began the five-day operation, code-named Vendura, with officers from the Computer Crime Unit of Central Scotland Police working with investigators from the U.K. record industry’s trade body the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) and the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT).

They raided four markets and 28 houses and arrested 28 people on suspicion of piracy infringements.

BPI director of antipiracy David Martin hailed the operation, stating: “If this haul was recovered anywhere in the U.K. it would be impressive, but it’s nothing short of remarkable considering that this operation was completed by one of the smallest police forces in the U.K. This is a perfect demonstration of how working hand-in-hand with industry can have a massive impact.”

Operation Vendura began several months ago when police and antipiracy officers from the BPI began gathering intelligence at local markets where the counterfeit trade is rife.

They seized goods and duplication equipment capable of creating hundreds of discs per day.

A number of arrests also involved alleged counterfeiters selling product through Internet sites such as eBay.

The haul is particularly timely given the expected annual boom in counterfeit trade during the Christmas period.

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more