In what could be the largest piracy bust to date in Australia, NSW Police this morning seized an estimated 1 million DVDs and CDs in Sydney. The raids took place at 7am, when police executed search warrants on five properties in Camden, Mt Annan and Green Valley, uncovering the largest known cache of pirated music and Asian movies in Australia.
The bust follows 12 months of investigations by NSW Police in conjunction with Verifact Rick and Investigations and Music Industry Piracy Investigations (MIPI). Police employed electronic and physical surveillance in the lead-up to the raids.
The ring allegedly used a shop front in Cabramatta to distribute the discs and moved operations to various suburbs in Sydney to avoid detection. The pirated discs are believed to have originated from a production plant in Smeaton Grange, which was also searched.
"Today’s record seizure confirms that physical piracy remains a huge problem for the music industry", MIPI investigations manager Dean Mitchell said. "The commercial scale production and distribution of pirate music discs robs artists and songwriters of their rightful rewards. Piracy is a serious crime and police continue to show they are prepared to take decisive action against these thieves.”
The discs are largely pirated copies of Asian movies, TV shows and music. An estimate of the cache's value has not yet been made.
"Let this be a warning that copyright owners and the police will relentlessly pursue pirates no matter where they try and hide", Verifact director Jarrod Bowditch said today.
Mitchell told PC World he believed that the raids this morning would dismantle the piracy ring, though NSW Police are continuing investigations into known associates of the group. As yet, no one has been arrested.
This morning's bust is the second this year involving piracy of Asian DVDs and CDs, with a similar bust being made in June. The operation is part of a continuing investigation into piracy rings in Sydney that has led to smaller busts throughout the year.