HK raid lands 120,000 pirated disks


HONG KONG -- More than 120,000 pirated optical disks were seized and 14 people were arrested during a two-day raid Wednesday and Thursday of 20 premises in Hong Kong following a wide sweep by130 officers from the Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department after a year-long investigation initiated by the Motion Picture Assn.

"By maintaining constant pressure on pirate strongholds, the Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department is sending a powerful message to the criminal gangs that damage Hong Kong's creative industries and investment climate," said Mike Ellis, MPA's senior vp and regional director Asia-Pacific.

Pirate operations at warehouses, retail shops and residences, believed to be controlled by an organized criminal gang, were shut down. Some 40,000 discs were found to be copies of recent Hollywood films, including "Open Season," "Night at the Museum," "The Departed," and "Rocky Balboa." The investigation began following a series of raids in one Hong Kong district last year.

In 2006, the MPA in the Asia-Pacific region seized more than 35 million illegal optical discs, 50 factory optical disc production lines and 4,482 optical disc burners. It's been estimated that $1.2 billion in lost revenue to MPA studios is due to piracy across the Asia-Pacific region.