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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 March, 2005, 13:42 GMT
Police in Bollywood piracy raid
Bollywood star Aishwarya Rai
Bollywood stars like Aishwarya Rai have been the targets of piracy
Dutch police have uncovered more than 140,000 pirated CDs and DVDs of popular Indian films and music in a string of simultaneous raids in Rotterdam.

Most of the products are believed to have originated in Pakistan, one of the largest manufacturers and exporters of pirated discs in the world.

Empty suitcases at one of the 13 shops suggested the discs were brought over in airline hand luggage.

Pakistan is believed to export more than 13m pirated discs every month.

Iain Grant, head of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), who backed the raids by Dutch police, called on the Pakistani government to take a legal stand against piracy.

"This is an important seizure, highlighting the growing problem of pirate disc exports from Pakistan," said Mr Grant.

Very little is being done in Pakistan to tackle the problem - urgent action is need from the government
Iain Grant, IFPI

"Disc production is practically unregulated and this is having a serious effect on Indian repertoire and rights holders.

"Very little is being done in Pakistan to tackle the problem - urgent action is needed from the government to regulate disc manufacture and introduce proper enforcement against this illegal trade."

In the UK, piracy of Bollywood films and music is believed to account for 70 per cent of the market.

Last month, Jayanti Amarishi Buhecha - whom the judge referred to as "one of the biggest Bollywood pirates in the UK" - was sentenced to three years in prison.

British Phonographic Industry anti-piracy director Dave Martin said consistent work with UK customs had "helped stem the tide of pirate Indian titles" in the UK, but the problem had surfaced elsewhere.

"As a result of sustained action against this trade we believe the pirates are switching to other entry points in Europe," he said.

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