Five due in court after Suffolk trading standards pirate dvd probe

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court - Credit: Archant

Five people are due to appear in court after a Suffolk Trading Standards inquiry into an alleged pirate dvd scheme understood to be valued at around £700,000.

One of those facing a total of 25 offences is from north Suffolk, while the others are from Leicestershire and East Sussex.

The charges come after a long-running inquiry by trading standards officers dating back to last year.

The alleged bootlegged dvds involved in the allegations include blockbuster films and popular TV box sets.

Among the well-known TV series said to have been pirated are Game of Thrones, Walking Dead, American Horror Story, Boardwalk Empire, Homeland and Breaking Bad.

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The Disney box office hit Frozen is understood to be among the films.

Trading Standards Officers have been pursuing the inquiry with police forces around the country and the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT).

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Late last year officers said a man had been arrested following a raid in the Southwold area.

He was interviewed and released on bail, pending further enquiries.

Other arrests were also made elsewhere in the country as part of the joint-agency investigation.

A total of six people were originally detained.

Now, a spokeswoman for Suffolk County Council Trading Standards has confirmed charges have been brought against four of those arrested with another facing a summons to court where charges will be laid against them.

The quartet were charged after they answered their bails on Monday at Suffolk Constabulary’s police investigation centre at Martlesham.

The county council spokeswoman said: “Frankie Ansell, 28, from Beccles, Suffolk is charged with two counts of conspiracy to defraud, four counts of possessing an article for use in fraud and three counts of money laundering.

“Lee Ansell, 33, from Loughborough in Leicestershire, Rebecca Plant, 30 also from Loughborough, and Howard Davey, 24, from Eastbourne, East Sussex were also charged.

“A fifth person from Loughborough is due to be summonsed to appear in court on three offences.”

All are due to make their first appearances before South East Suffolk Magistrates Court between Christmas and New Year.

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