Officers from Oldham Council have helped to tackle a Russian organised crime gang – the first case of its kind in the country.
The local authority’s Trading Standards, Greater Manchester Police and representatives from the British Phonographic Industry raided an address in Shaw after intelligence was gathered by the BPI.
A large quantity of suspected counterfeit music CDs, documentation and computers were seized and taken away for examination.
It is suspected that the fake CDs are being sold via an online marketplace.
David Wood, Director of Copyright Protection at the BPI, said: “This seizure of goods is the first suspected case detected in the UK of a high quality counterfeits operation by a Russian organised crime gang.
“We would like to thank Oldham Council’s Trading Standards and the Greater Manchester Police for their ongoing commitment to tackling illicit trading.
“Making vast sums of money off the back of fake CDs and DVDs via an international network is harmful to music stores online and on the high street, damaging towards investment in new artists, and simply wrong.
“Material has been seized for forensic investigation by BPI and this matter will now be dealt with by the authorities.”
Councilor David Hibbert, Cabinet Member for Housing, Planning and Highways, said: “High quality counterfeit CDs can be difficult for the average shopper to spot.
“As a result consumers are often tricked into thinking they are buying the genuine item.
“Not only does this mislead music fans but it generates money for those trading illegally, at the expense of legitimate high street retailers and businesses.”