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Wednesday, 21 August, 2002, 16:49 GMT 17:49 UK
Massive pirate CD haul seized
Pirated CDs on sale
Malaysia is also a piracy hot-spot
Pirated music CDs and copying equipment worth almost $20m (12.5m) have been seized in the Philippines in the country's latest blow against counterfeiters.

The police raid on a factory, in the north of the country, also resulted in seven Indonesian and five Chinese workers being arrested.

Philippine President Arroyo
Philippine President Arroyo visited the scene of the raid
The country's president, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, visited the factory and congratulated police.

In July, authorities publicly steamrollered two million pirated CDs and DVDs in what was intended to be a high-profile message to counterfeiters that the government was cracking down.

President Arroyo said the raid was "not only a great help to the members of the entertainment industry who are being cheated, but also our reputation in the world".

She has made fighting crime a top priority of her administration.

The Philippines has been named as one of the worst offenders in the global league of the production of counterfeit goods.

Global sales of pirated music compact discs rose almost 50% to an all-time high of 950 million units in 2001, according to a recent report.

And piracy was partly blamed for a 5% drop in global music sales in 2001.

Cheap attraction

The US has put pressure on countries like the Philippines to crack down on gangs running pirate operations, saying more investment and technology would be attracted if they did.

Fake music CDs sell on the streets of Manila for between $0.40 (25p) and $1.20 (80p) each.

Cinemas and video chains have also been hit by piracy, with copied DVDs also readily available on the streets.

The country's largest video rental company, Video City, recently closed 66 of its 220 shops because sales dropped by 50% in 2001.

See also:

26 Jul 02 | Europe
22 Jul 02 | Europe
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01 Feb 02 | Europe
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09 Oct 01 | Entertainment
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27 Jun 02 | Country profiles
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