Trident anti-piracy op nets 870 arrests

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NEW DELHI -- Operation Trident, an anti-piracy enforcement operation launched Asia-wide in early December and spearheaded by the MPA, concluded at the end of January with 1,874 raids yielding seizures of 4.8 million pirated discs, 749 optical disc burners and 870 arrests of suspected film pirates.

According to a statement Wednesday by the MPA, Operation Trident spanned 12 countries across the Asia-Pacific region and targeted pirate production facilities such as unauthorized factories and illegal burning operations.

Malaysia accounted for most of the raids, with 606, and yielded 658,614 pirated discs and 329 arrests. China accounted for 393 raids, leading to a sizable seizure of 2.9 million pirated optical discs. In India, 110 raids resulted in 118 arrests. Thailand saw 380 raids yield 295,752 pirated discs and 138 arrests.

"Over the past two-and-a-half years, the MPA's five biannual anti-piracy sweeps have resulted in close to 3,500 arrests and more than 26 million pirated optical discs seized," Mike Ellis, MPA senior vp and regional director Asia Pacific, said.

"We plan to continue to conduct aggressive enforcement action throughout the year with our local police, customs and other agency partners, and will initiate another Operation Trident-style anti-piracy push during the middle of the year."

Operation Trident operations were conducted in Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand.

According to the MPA, studios lost $6.1 billion to worldwide piracy in 2005, with the Asia-Pacific region accounting for about $1.2 billion and piracy in the U.S. accounting for $1.3 billion.

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 optical disc production lines and 4,482 optical disc burners, as well as the initiation of more than 11,000 legal actions.
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