FOUR suspected Chinese illegal immigrants were arrested and 700 counterfeit DVDs seized when police rounded up alleged pirate movie merchants.
Harrow Police's nine-strong Town Centre Team swooped on illicit street vendors in St Ann's Road, Harrow, on Saturday September 20.
As a result, three of the four men arrested were charged with offences under the Trademarks Act 1994 and are due before Harrow Magistrates' Court, Rosslyn Crescent, Harrow, on Thursday next week. The fourth man was released with a caution.
Officers confiscated 700 bogus DVDs including titles such as the as-yet-unreleased latest James Bond movie Quantum of Solace, recent box office smashes Sex and the City, The Dark Knight and Mamma Mia, and even some pornographic flicks.
Harrow's Borough Commander Richard Walton said: "Illegal DVDs may only cost £2 or £3 but the proceeds of this kind of piracy often fund terrorism and organised crime.
"We are cracking down hard on hawkers and pickpocketers, so they should think again before choosing Harrow for their anti social activity."
Councillor Susan Hall (Conservative), portfolio holder for environmental services, said: "We want people to come into Harrow to enjoy our town centre, so cleaning out offenders like illegal DVD merchants and pickpockets, or anyone engaging in anti-social behaviour, is a crucial part of that."
Five of the Town Centre Team have been trained by the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) - the film and broadcasting industry's trade body set up to protect copyright - to quickly identify even the most authentic-looking fake films as illegal.
The team is due to gain its own base outside St Ann's Shopping Centre in St Ann's Road within the next year as part of the revamp of the town centre.