August 15, 2002

300,000 VCDs and DVDs worth RM1.5m
seized during raid on hotel

KUALA LUMPUR, Tues. - The authorities seized more than 300,000 copies of pirated video compact and digital versatile discs with a street value of about RM1.5 million during a raid on a budget hotel in Jalan Petaling today.
The 5pm seizure on the first floor of the hotel included more than 1,000 titles of recent movie releases in English, Chinese and Hindi that were neatly stacked on wall racks and cardboard boxes.
Among the English titles were Crocodile Hunter, Tarzan and Jane, Eight Legged Freak, We Were Soldiers, Birthday Girl and Seven Samurai.
A 22-year-old man believed to be the runner for a syndicate involved in the packing and distribution of the discs was detained in the premises.
He is expected to be charged under Section 41(1) of the Copyright Act, 1987. The Act provides a fine of RM10,000 or five years jail sentence, or both, for each pirated disc.
The 10-man raiding party, led by city Domestic Trade and Consumers Affairs Ministry assistant enforcement officer Yusuf Bakar, had to force its way through iron grilles and steel doors to gain entry.
"Inside, we found the discs and other paraphernalia along with two disc players and two television sets," said Yusuf.
Yusuf added that they were tipped off on the illegal operations by an officer from the Music Authors Copyright Protection Bhd.
Also involved in the raid were representatives of the Recording Industry Association of Malaysia and the Motion Picture Association.
On Aug 8, the ministry detained two 19-year-olds during a raid on a warehouse behind the Plaza Phoenix shopping centre in Jalan Cheras, leading to the seizure of 30,000 pirated discs valued at RM150,000.