A COUNTERFEIT CD ring discovered in Bolton is estimated to have cost the music industry almost £900,000.

A husband and wife team alleged to be at the heart of a counterfeiting empire were questioned after their home was raided by officers in an anti-piracy operation last month.

The couple, aged in their late 30s, are said to have been selling the CDs for £5 each on auction website eBay.

Trading Standards officers in Bolton have discovered about 1,000 sales, with each CD containing between 60 and 120 albums. Individual albums normally retail at about £10.

Trading standards officer Glen Phoenix said: "It has cost the music industry just under £900,000 in lost revenue. That's a lot of money."

It is estimated that the couple have made between £5,000 and £10,000 from the alleged illegal sales.

Forensic examinations on a computer, which was seized along with CD burners and discs from the terraced house in Chorley Old Road, Bolton, have now been completed.

Trading Standards officers are looking to bring charges under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act and the Trade Marks Act.

The couple will face further questioning this month.

Many of the CDs discovered were in envelopes ready to be posted to buyers.

The raid was carried out by Trading Standards, police officers and the Mechanical Copyright Protection Society.