A market trader caught selling original boxed copies of PlayStaion2 Shrek the Third game for a mere GBP 10 each at a West Midlands market has been arrested and bailed pending further investigation.
In an intelligence-led operation involving Staffordshire County Council Trading Standards, Staffordshire Police and ELSPA (the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association) investigators, the stall of a 50 year-old man at Tamworth market was raided on 18th December. Prior to the raid, several test purchase were made by ELSPA investigators at the stall three weeks to ascertain how the man, who can’t yet be named for legal reasons, ran his illegal operation.
Ninety-nine copies of Shrek the Third were seized at the stall itself and a further 190 units, together with 86,000 contraband cigarettes and various branded items that breach trademark (i.e. clothes), were later also discovered at his premises. Following an interview the man confirmed he had been making regular cross-border trips from his home in Halesowen, Birmingham to Tamworth, Staffordshire where he ran a stall to sell his ill-gotten gains.
Upon further investigation it was discovered that the copies of Shrek the Third being sold at the stall were a small sample 40,000 units stolen from a secure unit in Stourport on Severn back in August 2007.
Michael Rawlinson, managing director of ELSPA, said: I congratulate Staffordshire Trading Standards and Staffordshire Police for successfully shutting down another criminal operation. ELSPA would like to thank the efforts of everyone concerned in their attempts to protect legitimate local traders and remove illegal products from the marketplace.