MUMBAI: Victorian Police, supported by investigators from the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT), raided Hoai Thu Video Shop in Footscray yesterday. Over 100,000 DVDs were seized, along with 51 DVD burners, 14 folders of DVD jacket covers, and an extensive catalogue of pornography.
The video store is alleged to have been a distribution point for thousands of pirated DVDs shipped interstate. Police uncovered spools of discs and prepackaged fake copies of DVDs in back rooms standing by for distribution.
The store was selling hundreds of movie titles including Bridge to Terabithia, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, Rush Hour 3, The Simpsons Movie and Transformers, which is currently showing at cinemas around Australia and not legally available on DVD.
A woman in her forties is assisting police with their enquiries. Maximum penalties for copyright infringement are up to $60,500 and five years imprisonment per offence.
AFACT, Executive Director, Adrianne Pecotic said, “This is the biggest DVD burning lab to have been exposed in Australia this year. Those 51 DVD burners running ten hours per day have the capacity to manufacture over 24,990 illegal DVDs a week with a street value of over A$4.5 million a year. The knock on effect of rampant piracy on local legitimate businesses like cinemas and DVD stores is tremendously damaging, and must be stamped out. We commend the Victorian Police for their actions in this case.”
Motion Picture Association, Asia-Pacific, Senior Vice President and Regional Director, Mike Ellis stated, “This is a tremendous effort and result. The Australian authorities have just raised the cost of doing business for these criminals. We look forward to supporting more of these enforcement actions in Australia.”