Malaysian authorities uncover illegal DVD factory

MUMBAI: On 5 March, 2009, in the first raid on a DVD factory this year, a team of 15 enforcement officers from the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (MDTCA) assisted by staff from the Malaysian Federation Against Copyright Theft (MFACT), representing the Motion Picture Association (MPA) in Malaysia, shut down an unlicensed replicating facility in Sungai Buloh, Selangor.

They seized three DVD replicating lines, one printing machine and 800kg of polycarbonates used in the manufacture of optical discs.

Acting on a tip-off, the team entered what appeared to be a furniture factory located at Kampung Bahru, in the Sungai Buloh industrial area, about 30km from Kuala Lumpur. A hidden door camouflaged as a wardrobe cabinet was found to be the entrance to a secret room in which three DVD replicating machines were operational and replicating six local movies titles at the time of the raid.

Four suspects, who were on the premises during the raid, were taken into custody for further investigation. Conservatively, the factory lines were capable of manufacturing more than 10 million pirated optical discs in a single year, generating potential illegal revenues of in excess of $27 million.

An estimated 5,000 pirated DVDs, fresh off the production lines were in boxes ready for delivery, including MPA member company titles Valkyrie, Australia, and Body of Lies. Preliminary investigations revealed that these pirate DVDs were headed for Johor, the Malaysian state south of Kuala Lumpur and just next to Singapore, for onward shipment out of the country.

"Congratulations to the MDTCA on keeping firm tabs on criminals who blatantly steal creative content be it on a small or large scale. While we have seen a clear trend of pirate syndicates moving towards using DVD burners, this raid on an illegal DVD factory is evidence that they will continue to use replication lines for as long as they think they can get away with it. We look forward to working with the MDTCA to take down the next illegal factory," said Motion Picture Association Asia Pacific president and managing director Mike Ellis.