Asia raids hit pirates

4.8 million discs seized, 870 arrests

HONG KONG — An antipiracy initiative launched by the Motion Picture Assn. (MPA) in Asia resulted in the seizure of 4.8 million pirated discs and 870 arrests.

Operation Trident started in early December and wrapped at the end of January. It spanned 12 countries and included 1,874 raids.

The goal was to protect the sales of cinema tickets, as well as DVDs and VCDs, during the Christmas and New Year period.

China led in the number of discs seized: almost 3 million during 393 raids that didn’t include any arrests.

Malaysia had 658,614 pirated discs seized during 606 raids where 329 people were arrested. Arrests in India totaled 118 during 110 raids. Taiwan had 119 people arrested with 388 optical disc burners taken; and Thailand saw 380 raids where almost 300,000 discs were seized and 138 people arrested.

“Over the past two-and-a-half years, the MPA’s five biannual antipiracy sweeps have resulted in close to 3,500 arrests and more than 26 million pirated optical discs seized,” said Mike Ellis, senior veep and regional director of Asia-Pacific for the MPA.

The operation was conducted in Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand. Another sweep will follow in the middle of the year.

MPA studios lost $6.1 billion to worldwide piracy in 2005, according to the MPA. Of that lost revenue, approximately $1.2 billion of it is the result of piracy in the Asian-Pacific region.

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