AUstralian authorities on 12 April seized an estimated 80,000 High Quality Counterfeit (HQC) 'Region 4' movie DVDs and TV box sets as well as artwork and promotional inserts.
The DVDs were found by detectives from Quakers Hill Police, with the support of investigators from the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) in a search warrant operation conducted on a storage unit in Blacktown.
This latest seizure is subsequent to the NSW Police action on 4th April when 1.2 million High Quality Counterfeit (HQC) DVDs, computers, and a shrink wrapping machine were seized from an associated factory unit.
A 29 year-old female from Marayong was arrested and is currently released under bail conditions. Police also questioned a 37-year-old male from Marayong. They are both likely to be charged with numerous copyright and trademark offences, as well as dealing with the proceeds of crime, fraud and money laundering offences.
It will be alleged that the syndicate were using multiple names, residential and business addresses, and post office boxes to import the High Quality Counterfeit (HQC) 'Region 4' DVDs into Australia from an overseas source. These HQC DVDs and accompanying artwork and promotional inserts were then allegedly assembled and repackaged in a factory unit at Kings Park, NSW, before being sold on the internet auction site eBay for approximately 30% off the Recommended Retail Price (RRP). Unsuspecting customers would have been under the impression that the DVDs and box sets they were purchasing were authentic.
It will be alleged that over 65,000 High Quality Counterfeit DVDs were sold on two eBay accounts, totalling sales in excess of $1.6 million. It will also be alleged that the High Quality Counterfeit (HQC) discs were also being sold to unsuspecting small retail outlets in a number of states.
Penalties for copyright crimes under the Commonwealth Copyright Act are a maximum of $60,500 and/or 5 years jail per offence.