Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Pirated DVD Sniffer dogs?

Interesting piece of news that i wasn't aware of until my colleage told me about it. That explains what happened to the pirated dvds in Holiday Plaza... Hmmm...

March 21, 2007

'DVD dogs' sniff out 1m illegal discs in Johor

KUALA LUMPUR - MALAYSIA'S latest weapon in the fight against DVD pirates - a pair of labradors named Lucky and Flo - have sniffed out nearly RM10 million (S$4.37 million) in illegal discs in Johor Baru.The dogs helped uncover nearly one million DVDs and compact discs hidden in offices housed within JB's Holiday Plaza shopping mall.

After roaming the building, they drew officials' attention to locked doors on the sixth, ninth and 10th floors of the 18-storey building.Johor Domestic Trade Ministry enforcement chief Fahmi Kassim said the officials then broke the doors down with crowbars and found the discs. Five Malaysians and a Vietnamese man were arrested.

'We suspected there were pirated discs in the building, and sure enough, the operation proved to be very successful,' Mr Fahmi added.'The dogs were a big help.'

The black labradors are on loan to Malaysia for a month from the United States-based Motion Picture Association (MPA). The MPA says it is the first time dogs have been used to detect contraband discs.Lucky and Flo began work in Malaysia last week, sniffing out shipments at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

The Johor operation was the first time they had worked in another area, said Mr Neil Gane, the MPA's Singapore-based senior director of operations.The dogs have been trained to detect polycarbonates - chemicals used in the disc manufacturing process.

The MPA, which includes Hollywood studios Warner Bros and Universal, estimates its members lost US$1.2 billion (S$1.83 billion) to movie pirates in the Asia-Pacific region last year.Malaysia is one of 36 countries on a US watch list of serious copyright violators.Officials say five million discs were seized in more than 2,000 raids in Malaysia last year, and 780 people arrested.


Then 1 day later...

Thursday March 22, 12:28 PM

Malaysian DVD pirates want sniffer dogs dead

KUALA LUMPUR, March 22 (Reuters) - Malaysian movie pirates have put a bounty on the heads of two sniffer dogs who busted a fake DVD ring with a seizure of discs worth about $3 million, media and officials said on Thursday. Lucky and Flo, two female black Labradors deployed by Malaysian authorities in their crackdown on pirated movie DVDs and music CDs, carried out their first major successful operation in Johor state on Tuesday.

The New Straits Times said syndicate bosses had offered an unspecified reward for the killing of the two dogs. "As a result of the extent of loss to the pirate syndicate, we have information from the domestic trade ministry that the Johor syndicate is intent on killing Lucky and Flo," said Neil Gane, an official of the Motion Picture Association. "The Malaysian authorities are taking this threat seriously and the security around the dogs' current location has been beefed up," he told Reuters.

In Tuesday's raid, the two dogs helped seize a cache of around a million pirated game and movie discs in the southern city of Johor Baru, neighbouring Singapore. At least six people were arrested. The fake DVDs, replicating machines and other tools used to make and sell discs were hidden in concealed spaces and secret compartments spread over four floors of an office building. Malaysia, which figures on a U.S. watchlist on piracy, has dramatically stepped up efforts to rein in copyright pirates as it negotiates a free-trade pact with the United States.

The dogs are being given a month's trial by Malaysian officials in a joint effort with the Motion Picture Association, which groups six major Hollywood film companies. The dogs are trained to sit down when they smell plastic. Until now, the animals have been used mainly to check containers in cargo hangars.

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