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4 December 2013, 12:02
A Bognor man has been sentenced to 18 months in prison after admitting possession of one of the largest ever hauls of hi-tech equipment for use in copyright theft ever found in the UK.
52-year old Keith Tamkin, of Broomcroft Road, Felpham, was sentenced at Chichester Crown Court on Tuesday 3 December.
He had previously pleaded guilty to six offences.
He had admitted one offence of distributing articles infringing copyright, two of money laundering a total of £140,000, one of transferring criminal property - a computer - and two of possessing prohibited weapons -a pepper spray and a stun gun.
He was sentenced to 12 months immediate imprisonment for the distribution offence; eight months to run concurrently for one of the money laundering offences, another three months to run consecutively for the transfer of criminal property offence; three months also to run concurrently for the other money laundering offence; another three months to run consecutively for the stun gun offence and three months also to run concurrently for the pepper spray offence.
Police, supported by anti-piracy investigators from BPI, the trade body for the British recorded music industry, had executed search warrants at two addresses in the town on Tuesday morning 15 November 2011.
Tamkin was arrested at one of them, a flat over a shop in Bognor High Street, and police also searched his home in Broomcroft Road, Felpham, on suspicion of conspiracy to contravene copyright laws, and money laundering offences.
At the flat the police and investigators found more than 100 full computer hard drives, an estimated 150,000 CDs and DVDs, computers and 8 'multiple bay burning towers' which comprise equipment to counterfeit music, films and software. A large catalogue of 25,000 titles distributed to an extensive client base was also seized. All the material seized took a year to examine.
David Wood, Director of Anti-Piracy for the BPI (British Recorded Music Industry) Ltd said,
"I would like to thank Sussex Police for co-ordinating efforts to disrupt this prolific production of counterfeit music, film and game repertoire. This case was significant in that it was one of the largest 'domestic factories' uncovered to date in the UK. It had the capability of manufacturing and distributing counterfeit product on a truly commercial scale."
Detective Inspector Chris Neilson of the Sussex Police Economic Crime Unit said;
"Detectives and Financial Investigators from our Unit worked closely with the BPI and were able to establish Tamkin's full role in this case.
"Co-operation and support from the BPI was key to the success of this investigation and shows how law enforcement and trade groups can work together to help safeguard the legitimate interests of business.
"Intellectual Property (IP) crime and associated offences of money laundering will be pursued by Sussex Police in a co-ordinated way with partners involved in tackling IP Crime, including the Intellectual Property Office (IPO), in order to disrupt this type of criminality.
"We will now be seeking a court confiscation order against Tamkin under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) to take back for society his criminal profits."