07/02/2007

Over £200,000 of counterfeit goods seized in NI

The PSNI Crime Operations Department’s robust stance against organised criminals has helped net counterfeit goods worth over £200,000 throughout the month of January 2007.

The Organised Crime Squad seized fake DVDs, CDs, computer games and cigarettes in various searches across Northern Ireland. Other counterfeit goods included clothes, alcohol and washing powder.

In total, goods worth £207,423 were taken out of circulation and seven people were arrested.

The Organised Crime Squad was also involved in an operation last month, which led to three men being arrested for blackmail and membership of a proscribed organisation.

In a number of follow up searches, a replica pistol was seized, and a sum of money was also recovered.

Crime Operations detectives also arrested a man from the Dungiven area, suspected of making extortion demands on a member of the business community last summer. Follow up searches uncovered paramilitary style clothing. The suspect was subsequently charged with Blackmail and Terrorist Funding and has since appeared in court.

PSNI Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde said the recent successes show that organised criminals have nowhere to hide. He said: "The detectives in Crime Operations Department maintain the highest level of commitment and professionalism, thus ensuring that counterfeiters, blackmailers and those involved in attempting to extort money from members of the public are being brought to justice."

(EF)

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