Following an undercoveroperation of house raids in North Wales, Cheshire, and Wirral early Oct 15,ten people were arrested for piracy-related crimes in the UK.

This operation, codenamed"Buzzard," was a mission to expose merchants who claim benefits while makingmoney selling pirate DVDs to shoppers at Greenfield Market in Flintshire. Themulti-agency task force, led by the Department forWork & Pensions, seized thousands of counterfeit DVDs, CDs, and computer games,with a value of as much as £600,000.

DWP Shadow Economy Teamsworked with Trading Standards, HM Revenue & Customs, the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT), and local police forces of North Wales, Cheshire and Wirral.

"We are delighted to be ableto work with DWP and Police in a multi-agency operation targeting a number ofthe most prolific DVD pirates in North Wales," said JimAngell, FACT director of operations. "Once again this proves thatfilm piracy is a serious crime that does not operate in isolation but is linkedto many other facets of criminality."

In related news, Glasgow-based Thomas McCabe has been sentenced to 22 months imprisonment for film piracy offenses after he was busted selling pirated DVDs in Paddy's Market in Glasgow.