P37.2M worth of pirated CDs, DVDs seized in GenSan

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/27 September) – Roughly P37.2 million worth of pirated CDs and DVDs were seized in a joint operation Thursday afternoon by police and Optical Media Board (OMB) personnel at the city central public market.

Joseph Arnaldo, OMB team leader, called the haul the second biggest seizure in the city since 2016.

He said they recovered 266 sacks of illegally reproduced music and movies as well as pornographic materials from at least 16 stalls inside the public market.

“It’s really rampant and involves a huge amount of money so it’s quite difficult to stop some traders to engage in selling these pirated optical disks,” Arnaldo said in a radio interview.

The official said the operation was based on reports from concerned citizens regarding the proliferation of fake CDs and DVDs at the city public market.

The vendors were reportedly selling the pirated materials, some of which were imported from China, at P30 to 35 each, he said.

The OMB team coordinated the matter with city police chief, Col. Aden Lagradante, who immediately assigned a composite team to assist the raid.

The police team, headed by Lt. Col. Jose Mari Simangan, was composed of personnel from the Regional Intelligence Division-City Intelligence Branch, Police Station 06, City Mobile Force Company, Mobile Patrol Unit, and City Operations and Management Branch.

Arnaldo said the confiscated items were brought to the city police headquarters at Camp Fermin Lira here for inventory.

He said these will be sent to their head office in Quezon City for another accounting before they will be destroyed.

The official said they will use them as evidence for the filing of administrative cases against the stall owners, whose identities were not released, for violation of Republic Act 9239 or the Optical Media Board Law.

In July 2016, OMB personnel seized around P42 million worth of pirated CDs and DVDs in a raid at the city central public market.

Arnaldo said they will regularly coordinate with city government and the police to ensure that the illegal activity will not resume at the public market.

“We will also conduct more enforcement operations to totally stop these activities,” he added. (MindaNews)