U.K. Police Seize Pirated Porn from Chinese Triad Gangs

U.K. Police Seize Pirated Porn from Chinese Triad Gangs
Matt O'Conner
GLASGOW, Scotland — Police have seized roughly $1.75 million worth of DVDs being distributed by Triad gangs, illegal Chinese immigrants who have their hands in every aspect of the U.K.’s underground sex trade.

Officials say the gangs have been flooding Scotland with pirated porn since rising to power a decade ago and that seizures have been made in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Lanarkshire, Forfar, Midlothian, Clydebank, Dumbarton, Dumfries and Stranraer.

One arrest was made after an immigrant walked into a police station thinking it was an office and tried to sell some DVDs to cops.

John McGowan of the Federation Against Copyright Theft said, "These Chinese moved to Scotland from London after a turf battle with Jamaicans forced them out.”

The Triad operation uses a small army of street-level hustlers to distribute the triple-x material to shops, garages, factories, pubs and offices, but the main market are in sidewalk stalls and on blankets spread along a curb, where vendors can quickly roll the merchandise up into bags and hide the illegal DVDs when police are nearby.

The hustlers typically operate in pairs and sell adult discs for around $2-$4. They also offer illegal copies of mainstream Hollywood movies for $8-$15. For example, copies of titles such as “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith” were included in recent seizures.

The street sellers are mainly from the Fujian province of China and promise payment of up to $35,000 each to Triads to be smuggled into Britain. They then must work as indentured servants to the gangs until they have paid off their debt.

According to police, the gangs also are heavily involved in the human sex trade, often importing young children to be used in child pornography and prostitution.