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Last Updated: Saturday, 21 May, 2005, 16:25 GMT 17:25 UK
Malaysia seizes pirated Star Wars
By Jonathan Kent
BBC News, Kuala Lumpur

Pirate Malaysian DVDs in Thailand
Malaysia is one of the world's top producers of pirate DVDs
Police in Malaysia have seized half a million pirated DVDs, according to the country's information ministry.

Copies of the new Star Wars film, Revenge of the Sith, are among a haul believed to have been bound for North America and Europe.

Some critics may have mauled Revenge of the Sith - dismal dialogue, wooden acting and all - but that has not deterred Malaysia's DVD pirates.

The dark side of the force must have been strong in them.

Within 24 hours of the film's release they had produced thousands of copies officials say were ready to be shipped abroad.


On Friday police and trade ministry enforcers moved in on the warehouse in Kuala Lumpur - where the DVDs were stored - after staking it out for three days.

They had described the seizure of 500,000 DVDs as the biggest so far this year.

However there were no arrests.

The pirates had already escaped, doubtless to appear again in the inevitable sequel.

Anti-piracy organisations say Malaysia is one of the world's top producers of illegal discs.

A report last year estimated that a third of the pirated films sold in Britain originated here.

A wide-ranging police operation a year ago cleared fake discs off Malaysia's streets and out of its shopping malls but when the raids stopped the pirates returned.

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