U.K. Raid Nets £1 Million in 'Unlicensed' Porn
LONDON — An assortment of more than 100,000 porn DVDs and magazines have been seized after raids in south London.
Inspectors from Westminster Council seized the merchandise after four raids at an office and storage facility and two private properties on Wednesday. The raids were carried out in Merton and Wandsworth.
The £1 million seizure was made by Westminster Council’s licensing inspectors who had suspected the goods were being distributed to newsagents in central London, specifically in Soho and the West End, as well as through High Street news agents.
All of the porn seized was "unlicensed" and therefore illegal, authorities said. Hardcore porn must receive R18 certificates in the U.K. through the British Board of Film Classification.
Nickie Aiken, Westminster City Council’s cabinet member for community protection and premises, told reporters "the operation illustrates the scale of the illegal sex industry in London."
"My fear is that corner shops in Westminster and elsewhere in the capital are now the new frontier for the illegal porn industry in London,” Aiken said.
The raids came after the council found 17 news agents, out of 80 visited in central London, to be selling unclassified porn.
Earlier this year, 40,000 illegal DVDs seized from unlicensed sex shops were incinerated by Westminster authorities.