And for that I get busted?
The TT likes this part the most: “Sheikhs were claiming housing benefit. The father was also claiming disability benefit for a heart problem that he claimed prevented him from walking more than a few steps, despite regularly jetting off to the Middle East and China“.
A family who made £7million from Britain’s biggest fake DVD scam were jailed for a total of 16 years yesterday.
Khalid Sheikh, 53, and his two sons Rafi, 26, and Sami, 28, used dozens of Chinese illegal immigrants as ‘slaves’ to produce millions of counterfeit copies of blockbuster films at a rate of up to 350,000 discs a week or one every two seconds.
The hits, such as Ice Age 2, The Da Vinci Code and Iron Man, were then touted in pubs and on street corners for as little as £3 – some even before their big-screen debut.
The Sheikhs also churned out copies of hardcore porn films.
Despite their multi-million pound turnover, the family shared a council house and claimed thousands of pounds a year in housing and disability benefit.
The two sons wore designer suits, bought sports cars and flew first class, yet shared a small bedroom. They also made numerous trips to lap-dancing clubs.
For three years, the family produced the fake DVDs at a phenomenal rate in a series of cramped ‘factories’ in rented industrial units or terraced houses across London.
These were staffed by ‘largely illegal Chinese immigrants’, some of whom paid up to £20,000 to be smuggled into the UK to earn money to send back to China.
John Hardy QC told Southwark Crown Court in London: ‘They were housed in factories, residential premises acquired on short-term lets where they worked round-the-clock in conditions of virtual slavery.’
He said the aim was to ‘flood London, the South East of England and beyond with pirate DVDs’.