Friday 19th December/… A criminal raid at a shop and home premises in Cardiff has netted 1,800 infringing game copying devices and resulted in the apprehension of a man in his early 20s. The game copying devices bypass the technical protection measures of the Nintendo DS / DS Lite handheld system and enable the play of illegal Nintendo game software. The raid was carried out on the morning of December 17 by officers from the City and County of Cardiff Trading Standards Department and the South Wales Police. It resulted in the seizure of 1,800 game copying devices, which are illegal under the Trademarks and Copyright Acts.
It was later discovered that the as-yet unnamed man had imported the game copying devices through Heathrow in four consignments and was selling them through a website discovered by diligent investigators from industry trade body ELSPA (the Entertainment and Leisure Publishers Association). Action was taken following a test purchase.
The 21 year-old counterfeiter, who was also claiming benefit, painstakingly kept recorded delivery slips for every single game copying device he peddled over more than two years. Besides the 1,800 devices seized, a further 1,000 were discovered at his home ready for sale along with several hundred packed and ready for posting - by recorded delivery, naturally!
Michael Rawlinson, managing director of ELSPA, said: “We would like to thank Cardiff Trading Standards and South Wales Police for their sterling work in stopping this operation. Our team in the Intellectual Property Crime Unit (IPCU) has stepped up its fight against counterfeiters stealing game software and other intellectual property rights of our members. Increasingly sophisticated tracking techniques make it harder than ever for the thieves to avoid detection. The industry loses vital income and with it proper job security for its employees in the country, while the British public lose out because many circumvention devices actually damage irreparably DS Lite handheld consoles. ELSPA advises all gamers, parents and gifters to buy hardware and game software from respectable retailers – offering proper protection for their outlay.”
David Yarnton, Nintendo UK General Manager, said: “Nintendo is serious about taking actions against those involved in the manufacturing and distribution of game copying devices.”
Steve Grey, Operational Manager at Cardiff Trading Standards, said: “Counterfeiting is an increasingly technical and complex challenge to enforcers but we are determined to work closely with our partner agencies to bear down on rip-offs like this.”