Two trained Labradors have sniffed out 50,000 bootleg DVDs in their third success since being deployed last month in Malaysia’s mounting anti-movie piracy crackdown, a senior official said Tuesday.
Five people also were arrested in the raids late Monday in two outlets in Damansara Utama, a suburb near Malaysia’s largest city of Kuala Lumpur, said Motion Picture Association of America senior operations executive Neil Gane.
Malaysia is among the world’s top illegal movie disc producers and exporters, according to the MPAA and the U.S. government. It is also one of 36 countries on a U.S. watch list of serious copyright violators.
The black Labradors, Lucky and Flo, are on loan to Malaysia from the MPAA, whose members include top Hollywood studios Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox and Universal. The MPAA said its members lost $1.2 billion to Asia-Pacific movie pirates in 2006.
The dogs, trained to sniff a chemical used in discs, were pressed into service on March 13 and won acclaim when they helped uncover 1 million pirated DVDs, CDs and computer game discs worth $2.8 million in an office complex in the southern city of Johor on March 19.
Another successful raid on Saturday in Kuala Lumpur netted 150,000 pirated discs.
The Labradors may head for another Asian nation after their one-month stint ends, Gane said, without elaborating. The Malaysian government has said it will evaluate whether to employ its own dogs.
Movie pirates reportedly have a placed a bounty on Lucky and Flo.
Gane said the MPAA was “taking the threat seriously” and was “factoring the threat when planning operations.”