MPA donates sniffer dogs to K-9 unit

MUMBAI: In what may be the most determined statement yet of its intention to rid the country of optical disc piracy, the Malaysian Government announced today the establishment of a canine (K-9) unit to detect pirated optical discs. The unit, the first of its kind in the world, has been set up within the Enforcement Division at the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (MDTCA), and comprises two Labrador sniffer dogs courtesy of the Motion Picture Association (MPA).


The pair of dogs, named Paddy and Manny, hail from Northern Ireland. They have undergone two months of training to identify optical discs by scent and assist in the detection of hidden counterfeit optical discs, like Lucky and Flo before them.


The use of dogs trained in optical disc detection was first mooted by the MPA in October 2004. In 2007, the Malaysian Government joined forces with the MPA to test the capabilities of these canines. The trial program, code-named Operation Double Trouble, saw the introduction of the world’s first dogs trained to detect optical discs, Lucky and Flo.


Introduced in March 2007, for what was initially meant to be a month-long initiative, Lucky and Flo ended up serving for six months. In that time, their keen noses led to 26 arrests and the seizure of 1.6 million discs, five replicating machines and 97 burners in the country. It was the achievements of Lucky and Flo that prompted the Malaysian Government to consider the establishment of a dedicated K-9 unit, aimed at strengthening MDTCA’s enforcement efforts.


"For us at the MPA, the establishment of this K-9 unit is a major step forward in our fight against piracy. In Malaysia it is particularly important given the close relationship we have with the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs. It’s a relationship that can only flourish as we take our cooperation to the next level," said Motion Picture Association of America chairman and CEO Dan Glickman.


"If the world – and to be sure the optical disc pirate syndicates – were impressed by the abilities Lucky and Flo, let me just say that Paddy and Manny are just as impressive," he added.


The dedicated K-9 unit will target suspected warehouses and retail shops with hidden rooms and also focus on uncovering pirate burner labs.