Pilipinas Anti-Piracy Team Shuts Down Lucena City Shop Selling Pirated Software
Monday, April 3, 2006
A combined team of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and the Optical Media Board (OMB) personnel recently raided Delgic Play Station Center, located along Profugo St., Lucena City, Quezon for allegedly selling pirated entertainment and computer software. The raid was done on the strength of a search warrant issued by Judge Bienvenido Mapaye of the Regional Trial Court of Lucena City a day earlier. Elements of the Lucena City Police Station provided back-up during the conduct of the search.
The search warrant was supposed to be served as soon as it was issued but the targeted store was already closed when government agents arrived at its location. Previous surveillance on the store revealed that it opens at 10 am and closes at about 8 pm. However, on the day the search warrant was issued, the store suddenly closed just before 6 pm. The raiding team had to forcibly open the store after it remained closed the following day. Barangay officials and other witnesses were present when the store’s padlocks were destroyed.
The raid resulted in the seizure of more than 19,000 pieces of optical media discs containing pirated movie, music and computer software. The value of the seized items was conservatively pegged at a little over PhP 1.6 million. Industry sources however, claim that such estimates are deceiving. They averred that if these items were all sold to the consuming public, copyright owners would have lost ten times more in terms of potential earnings.
“Our investigators are now looking into allegations that the shop’s owner, a certain Bryan Laredo, has several other stores in the province of Quezon that also sells pirated entertainment and computer software. Based on information relayed to the Business Software Alliance anti-piracy hotline, Laredo is allegedly a major supplier of such intellectual property infringing products in the Southern Tagalog area,” said Police Senior Superintendent Noel O. delos Reyes, chief of Anti-Fraud and Commercial Crimes Division of the CIDG.
Appropriate charges are now being readied against Laredo by both the CIDG and OMB.
Other similar raids are being readied by the Pilipinas Anti-Piracy Team, which is composed of the NBI, OMB and PNP, in the coming weeks as the government tries to get out completely from the US watch list of countries where IP piracy is rampant by next year at the earliest.