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ANPR bags alleged uninsured pirate godfathers

Discs, Daewoo, toner seized

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Breaking news has revealed that government vehicle tracking benefits us all, by ridding the community of desperate criminals.

Durham plods, using the Automatic Numberplate Recognition (ANPR) technology that handwringing media pinkos make such a fuss about, on Monday snared what they say is a brace of heavyweight villains.

The crime of the alleged North Country Mr Bigs? You guessed it - copyright piracy.

Your friends and mine, the BPI and FACT - think of them as sort of friendly extra police, provided for us at no extra cost by a benevolent recording industry - were overjoyed to announce the successful collars.

According to a BPI/FACT release, ANPR-packing cops pinged a car in Chester-le-Street as having no insurance, and duly pulled it over.

Says the copyright heat: "When officers started questioning the two men in the car, further enquiries were made which led police to execute search warrants at their two houses."

We're guessing that the men must have said something like "Arrr, King's man, 'tis pirates we be - blackhearted villains, look'ee, who'll never rest until the seas be swept clear o' scurvy musicians, games designers an' blasted Hollywood film directors. A pauper's grave for every one of 'em."

In any case, the plods raided their homes and discovered an astonishing hoard: "30,000 discs comprising music, films, TV series, and computer games. Several Xboxes were also recovered along with recording equipment, toner cartridges and around £500 in cash."

Toner cartridges, eh. Very nasty. And five hundred actual pounds - why, these men could be criminal kingpins, emperors of villainy. So copious were their ill-gotten gains that they had been driving a Daewoo Lanos compact in true high-roller style. (The car was, of course, seized under the Proceeds of Crime act.)

And remember, copyright piracy is used to fund drugs - you know how dealers are always giving away free drugs? That's because of piracy, that is - and terrorism. Presumably fairly low-rent terrorism, if these men's lifestyle is any guide. The two accused malefactors ("one in his 30s, one in his 40s") must have saved literally scores of pounds by not insuring their prestigious vehicle; that probably went on drugs for schoolchildren, and/or terror camps.

"Counterfeiters are active in other areas of crime," says the BPI's Dave Wood.

General* Kieron Sharp of FACT added:

"Piracy is a crime that attracts serious and organised criminals... involved in other crimes which bring harm to local communities."

So there you have it. ANPR is great after all, because it bags master criminals and ensures that major recording artists still have plenty of cash. Which is good, because drugs will be more expensive in the absence of music piracy. ®

*The full rank title of a FACT supremo is Director-General, like the head of MI5; not Lieutenant-General or Major-General as in the military.

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