A Craigavon man has been convicted of making and selling imitation Nintendo games, in what police have heralded “the first investigation of its kind in Northern Ireland”.
A detective from the PSNI’s Cyber Support Unit has stated that the 34-year-old had sold thousands of R4 cards across Europe under a number of aliases over a nine-year period.
Ciaran Fox, of Larkfield Meadows, was convicted of the importation, possession and sale of R4 cards at the Craigavon Magistrates’ on Tuesday.
These cards are said to have the ability to store hundreds of Nintendo DS games which could equate to around £6,000 worth of games on just one.
Previously defence barrister Joel Lindsay had told the court that Fox had been producing the cards for the past nine years and that estimated the loss to the companies involved was in the region of £2million.
On Tuesday, Fox was sentenced to six months in prison suspended for 18 months.
Detective Lyness said “This investigation was the first of its kind in Northern Ireland and I welcome today’s sentencing.
“Organisations such as Nintendo Europe depend on their intellectual property and this type of theft impacts on the livelihoods of those working in the gaming and technology industries”.
She claimed Fox had sold thousands of R4 cards across Europe under a number of aliases and had denied knowledge of what he was doing was illegal.
The detective stated: “I would like to reiterate that this type of activity is illegal and carries serious consequences including a criminal record and potential custodial sentence.
“I would appeal to anyone with information on this type of activity to contact detectives in PSNI’s Cyber Support Unit by calling 101 or alternatively you can speak anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”
A Nintendo spokesperson said “Nintendo would like to thank PSNI for its efforts in investigating this matter.
“To protect against piracy of its games, as well as those developed and published by third parties, Nintendo will continue to support criminal investigations against sellers of circumvention devices or modding services.”
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