Authorities in Malaysia have revealed that they have seized 1.5 million pirated game and film DVDs and CDs worth an estimated 51.3 million ringgit ($14m) in raids so far this year. Almost half of these were meant for export, showing that video game piracy of physical discs is still a major issue in many regions.
A total of 712,304 DVDs and CDs, mainly movies and video games, were seized from international airports in Kuala Lumpur, the southern state of Johor, and Sarawak and Sabah states on Borneo Island, the official Bernama news agency reported. The discs were to be exported as far as countries in South America and Africa.
Malaysia is one of thirty-six countries on a U.S. watch list of serious copyright violators, with American industry group Business Software Alliance estimating that the majority of all software used in Malaysia is illegal. Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs officers in Malaysia carried out 6,341 raids in the first quarter of 2006.
The latest attempt to smuggle illegally copied discs out of Kuala Lumpur airport was foiled Tuesday night when police intercepted seven boxes containing around 8,000 discs labeled as computer parts destined for Johannesburg, South Africa. Two previous raids at the same airport prevented attempts to export 7,000 movie discs to Cambodia and 36,000 video game discs to Montevideo, Uruguay.
In 2005 officials conducted 38,069 raids, seizing 4.8 million pirated discs worth 100.4 million ringgit ($27.4m) and nine disc copying machines. Eighteen copy machines have been seized up until April this year, suggesting that the problem is rapidly increasing despite the efforts of authorities.