Police shut down illegal DVD factory in Bangkok

Mumbai: Officers of the Royal Thai Police, with the assistance from representatives of the Motion Picture Association (MPA), cracked a piracy ring operating from an abandoned warehouse in Yanawa district, Rama 3 Road, Bangkok on 24 September.

After monitoring the pirates for a month, the raiding party set up surveillance just outside the warehouse. The officers then stopped a black Toyota sedan heading out of the warehouse and found 14,000 pirated optical discs in the trunk of the car. Three male suspects who were in the vehicle, one Thai aged 36 and two Malaysian suspects aged 24 and 37 were immediately arrested.

The Police proceeded to raid the warehouse, which was demarcated into two areas. The front was disguised as a junk garage while the air-conditioned back area housed one DVD replicating line, one printing machine and 2,400 kilograms of polycarbonate, used in the production of optical discs. The raiding team also found approximately 16,000 pirated discs and 93 stampers. Among them were MPA member companies’ titles The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor and Batman: The Dark Knight. No other suspects were found in the premises.

Sources inside the Royal Thai Police say that the factory is believed to have been operated by Malaysian mafia and had been producing pirated products for six months for export back into Malaysia. The Thai suspect, who claimed he was only the driver, confessed that he was going to deliver the pirated discs to customers in the Rama 5 area in Nonthaburi province, and he was paid the sum of US$178 (THB 6,000) to run the delivery. All three suspects remain in police custody for further investigations. Police have indicated that more arrests could follow.

"We congratulate the Royal Thai Police on cracking this pirate ring which appears to be involved in cross-border piracy. This just goes to show that piracy is a serious crime and a dangerous business that impacts the local industry and law enforcement. We remain totally committed to supporting the Thai authorities in taking down these criminals and look forward to hearing about more arrests in this case," said MPA president and managing director, Asia-Pacific Mike Ellis.