The National Crime Squad has made its fourth illegal-software bust, bringing the total of counterfeit Microsoft goods recovered in the past three months to a street value total of more than #50 million.
The latest bust follows an intensive two-year investigation by the National Crime Squad, who intercepted a truck with 20,000 Microsoft Windows 95 upgrades. The disks were believed to have been stolen from KAO Systems in Ireland, one of Microsoft's distribution centres.
One UK individual and two Dutch nationals were arrested and charged with handling #1.5 million worth of stolen goods. The entire operation started from surveillance of software sales adverts on the Internet.
In the past three months, police have recovered stolen CDs to the combined value of #50 million from London, Cambridge and at the German-Dutch border of Aachen. The products are believed to have been made in the UK.
?This demonstrates our unswerving commitment to protect the vast majority of UK computer resellers who try and earn honest income from our software every day,? commented David Gregory, anti piracy manager at Microsoft.
?We promised to hunt down the illegal distribution channel and give a fair playing field to partners who want to do business with us. We will continue to educate our channel partners and customers that software theft increasingly involves organised crime and that if the price looks to good to be true?..be very suspicious,? continued Gregory.
Detective chief inspector Alan Williams from the National Crime Squad confirmed that this had been a successful operation with Microsoft. He added; ?The remit of the National Crime Squad is to target organised crime on a national and international scale and this operation certainly falls within that criterion. Organised crime revolves around profit and it is evident that the illegal sale of this property can realise vast profits for those involved.?
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