Australian Police bust largest movie burner lab; 117 burners seized


MUMBAI: Australian Police made their biggest DVD burner lab bust of the year when Victoria Police from Altona North Regional Response Unit (RRU) raided a residence in Yarraville in Melbourne’s south-west with a warrant to uncover a drug manufacturing laboratory. Instead they discovered a massive haul of over 30,000 illegal DVD movies.


The haul also included 117 DVDR burners, eight computers and five printers. The burning operation was capable of producing nearly three million illegal discs a year.


Amongst the tens of thousands of illegal DVD movies, police discovered illegal copies of Iron Man 2, which is currently showing in cinemas across Australia.


Police arrested three men shortly after the discovery and interviewed them at Footscray Police Station.


Following the operation, Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) executive director Neil Gane said, "I commend the important work carried out by Victoria Police during this operation. Closing down this large-scale DVD movie burning racket is a good day for local community cinemas and DVD stores who deserve a fair go and should not have to compete with theft. It also sends a clear message to would-be movie criminals that copyright theft is a serious crime which will be investigated, shut down and prosecuted through the courts."


Motion Picture Association, Asia Pacific president and managing director Mike Ellis added, "The Australian authorities have once again proven how serious they take this problem by going after such illegal operations consistently. The size of this burner lab indicates that organised criminal elements are profiting considerably from copyright theft, and it is of utmost importance that we all join hands to see that they are shut down."


In the first quarter of 2010, AFACT was involved in 16 raids resulting in the seizure of 67,911 discs and 148 DVDR burners.


In 2009, State and Federal Police conducted 69 raids involving movie piracy and seized 194,233 pirated DVDs. They also seized 749 burners capable of producing over 18 million pirated DVDs a year.