More than one tonne of fake music CDs was seized at Manchester Airport when police smashed a massive smuggling operation.
The consignment, thought to be the largest haul of fake CDs found in the UK, included illegally copied albums by Taylor Swift and the Rolling Stones. Officers said they were destined to be sold to unwitting Christmas shoppers.
The counterfeit CDs were found by Border Force officers and City of London Police among the cargo on a plane which arrived at Manchester from Hong Kong earlier this month.
A further 20,000 fake albums were discovered in raids which followed the seizure.
The total street value of all the counterfeit goods seized in the investigation was around £245,000.
A man from Morecambe, Lancashire, was interviewed regarding the haul, police said.
Superintendent Tony Crampton of the City of London Police economic crime directorate said: “Counterfeiting costs the country tens of millions in lost tax, damages legitimate business and often deceives the general public into paying good money for sub-standard fake products.”
The operation was supported by anti-piracy investigators from music organisations BPI and IFPI.
BPI director of anti-piracy David Wood said the investigation had “smashed” a large-scale international counterfeit operation.