Birmingham & Black Country

Illegal Xboxes 'worth £500,000' seized in Birmingham

One of the UK's largest hauls of illegally-chipped video game consoles has been discovered in Birmingham.

Trading Standards officials said 250 Xbox 360s and hard drives and 450 copied Xbox games were confiscated at a flat in the city.

The haul, given a street value of £500,000, was discovered last week.

Ahead of the raid, officers had been monitoring a website offering console-chipping following a complaint from the public, the city council said.

The subsequent operation was carried out by the council, West Midlands Police and the Association of UK Interactive Entertainment (UKIE), which represents the video game industry.

Crime 'not victimless'

In a statement, the council said: "Birmingham Trading Standards has unveiled what industry experts have called one of the largest-ever seizures of illegally 'chipped' or 'flashed' games consoles ever discovered in the UK, with an estimated street value of more than £500,000."

The "chipping" of consoles enables them to circumnavigate built-in technology that would otherwise prevent them from being able to run counterfeit or copied games, the council said.

Councillor Neil Eustace, said: "While some may think 'chipping' or 'flashing' is a victimless crime, the truth is that such activity directly supports the black market in counterfeit games, which in turn endangers legitimate jobs and businesses in Birmingham."

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