MPA hounds Malaysian pirates

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NEW DELHI -- In a groundbreaking move by the MPA in Malaysia, two specially trained dogs have unearthed hundreds of thousands of DVDs and computer games in recent raids.

The MPA's specially trained Labrador retrievers, Lucky and Flo, are the world's first dogs trained to detect polycarbonate and other chemicals used in optical discs, and are thus able to detect CDs and DVDs.

According to a statement Monday, the MPA conducted 11 raids Friday on retail outlets and warehouses in the piracy hub of Johor Bahru in Malaysia's southern peninsula with officials from the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs.

The dogs led investigators to an estimated 100,000 pirated movie and computer games DVDs hidden in secret storage compartments in shops and a warehouse. Investigators also seized DVDs containing child pornography.

In a March 20 raid at the same location, the MPA had seized an estimated 1 million pirated discs with a street value of about $2.86 million. That action yielded six arrests.

On April 2, in Kuala Lumpur, Lucky and Flo led MDTCA officers to a cache of nearly 150,000 pirated optical discs with an estimated street value of $430,000.

In 2006, the MPA's operations in the Asia-Pacific region investigated more than 30,000 cases of piracy and assisted law enforcement officials in conducting nearly 12,400 raids. These activities resulted in the seizure of more than 35 million illegal optical discs, 50 factory production lines and 4,482 optical disc burners as well as the initiation of more than 11,000 legal actions.
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