'Video nasties' seized in raids

TRADING standards officers said yesterday they had smashed a major national underground network dealing in horror videos after early morning raids in 15 towns and cities.

They seized duplicating equipment and thousands of video tapes depicting mutilation, torture, disembowelment, animal killings, bestiality and necrophilia in the raids on Wednesday. A total of 16 people aged between 17 and 35 were questioned by the officers and many could face charges.

The officers from Liverpool infiltrated the network and were supplied with videos from all parts of the United Kingdom in what was described as the biggest operation carried out into the 'video nasty' trade.

Officers stumbled on the network - spread across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland - after mounting an operation in May last year leading to the winding up of another smaller group including young teenagers trading in horrific tapes.