Video and audio recording equipment is seized in a raid on a major film and music pirate copying operation in Dublin.

Over £100,000 worth of video and audio copying equipment has been seized at a lockup garage in Dublin. The equipment was being used to make counterfeit videos, CDs and tapes for the lucrative Christmas market.

The criminal gang responsible for this counterfeit operation have been under surveillance by detectives in Crumlin for the past two months. They raided a warehouse in Bluebell in Dublin seizing video and audio tapes, fake covers, laser discs, and duplicating equipment. 

The counterfeit operation was highly sophisticated. The gang was copying major films from original laser discs on to videotape and selling them on through small retail outlets.

Superintendent John McLoughlin from Crumlin Garda Station describes how the operation works with the gang producing a tape for fifty pence and selling it on for seven pounds. 

People in the underworld, criminal elements are involved in this business.

It is estimated that the movie industry in Ireland has lost £13 million in the last year, of which the government has lost £2.5 million. 

The haul includes pornographic videos and films banned in Ireland by the censor. 

Over 70,000 pirate copies of The Lion King have already made it on to the Irish market. Over sixty copying machines, each capable of copying a film from laserdisc onto a hundred VHS machines, were seized in the raid. 

Ireland has one of the highest levels of video piracy and with maximum penalties of six months in prison or a thousand pounds, Dublin is fast becoming the European capital of counterfeiters.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 6 November 1997. The reporter is Paul Reynolds.