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Ontario police bust operation selling counterfeit DVD box sets worldwide

Pirated DVDs are seen at a store selling pirated CDs and DVDs in Beijing, April 21, 2011. While China implemented a six-month campaign in November aimed at counterfeit books, music, DVDs and software, all are still openly available on Chinese streets.

JASON LEE/REUTERS

Three southern Ontario men are facing charges following an investigation in what's being called the largest counterfeit DVD burning and manufacturing operation in Canadian history.

Halton regional police say the investigation began in early January following consumer complaints from Canada, the United States, Germany, Australia and the United Kingdom.

Investigators say consumers had ordered DVD television series box sets from a seemingly legitimate manufacturer's website but received counterfeit merchandise of inferior quality.

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On Sunday, police executed a series of search warrants at five locations – two in Toronto, two in Oakville and one in Burlington – and arrested three people.

At one of the Oakville locations (2530 Speers Rd.) investigators seized DVD-making equipment, cash, luxury vehicles and hundreds of packaged DVDs destined for shipment worldwide.

Martin Juchniewicz, 33, of Toronto, Colin Wood, 33, of Oakville, and Nicholas Rogers, 46, of Burlington are charged with defrauding the public, laundering proceeds of crime, and participating in a criminal organization.

Police say the fake DVDs were sold through websites in Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, Australia, the U.S., Germany, and New Zealand. They generated about $500,000 a week in sales.

Officials with the Motion Picture Association of Canada said this is the largest counterfeit DVD burning and manufacturing operation in Canadian history.

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