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London Post Office Manager Gets Two-Year Jail Sentence for Selling Counterfeit DVDs

11 Nov, 2016 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Seized counterfeit DVDs

A 36-year-old manager of a London post office has been sentenced to 25 months in jail for charges of selling about 7,000 counterfeit DVDs, including Disney’s Frozen and boxed sets of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s “Breaking Bad,” on eBay.

The Inner London Crown Court handed down the sentence to Varinder Singh Saini following a guilty plea. Saini’s wife, 33-year-old Samiti Saini, pled guilty to selling fake designer sunglasses.

She was sentenced to community service under the Trade Marks Act, and must undertake 50 hours of unpaid work within six months.

The crimes took place in 2014 and were initially discovered by the British film industry anti-piracy investigators FACT (Federation Against Copyright Theft) following a tip.

During the investigation, officials discovered a “well-organized and highly profitable” operation ordering counterfeit DVDs from China, including fake Disney hologram stickers, packaging and shipping them from the post office Mr. Saini managed.

“The considerable jail sentence should serve as a stark reminder of just how seriously DVD piracy is taken,” Barrie Hargrove, counselor with Southwark Council communities and safety, said in a statement. “Mr. Saini thought he could make easy money from duping thousands of customers into buying dodgy DVDs, whilst at the same time depriving legitimate businesses of their trade.”

Earlier this year, another British national was sentenced to 30 months jail time for the manufacture, distribution and sale of counterfeit DVDs and music CDs at a local flea market over a three-year period.

Kieron Sharp, director general of FACT, said the conviction underscores the notion copyright theft is not a victimless crime. A recent report from research firm Ipsos found that 30% of U.K. population engages in some form of piracy, including pirated video streaming, costing content creators and studios about $630 million annually.

“Not only does piracy starve the creative industries and U.K. economy of millions of pounds a year, but it also impacts the livelihoods of thousands of people who support and work in the industry,” Sharp said.


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