OMB seizes P36M fake discs
THREE months of surveillance led authorities to their largest haul of pirated CDs and DVDs stocked in an appliance store in downtown Cebu City.
Personnel from the Optical Media Board (OMB) Manila yesterday seized 259 sacks of imported, pirated CDs and DVDs worth around P36 million in a stock room in the second floor of Cebu HDM Marketing along Manalili Street.
According to OMB team leader Joseph Arnaldo, the store they raided yesterday is believed to be the largest distributor of pirated CDs and DVDs all over Cebu and even in neighboring provinces. They also suspect that these were imported from China.
“In our previous operation, we went after retailers in the streets. So we looked for their source. We received information and validated it. That’s why we conducted a special operation against this distributor of pirated optical media disks. Sobrang dami (It’s too many),” he told reporters.
Prior to yesterday’s operation, he said the OMB also conducted operations against street sellers of pirated disks three months ago.
The registered owner of the Cebu HDM Marketing was not around during yesterday’s raid that started at around 10 a.m.
The staff inside the store, who refused to be named or interviewed, said they had no idea about the presence of the sacks and boxes of CDs and DVDs on the second floor of the building.
Based on the business permit issued to Cebu HDM Marketing, the name of the permittee is Rolando Dantes. He was issued a business permit for operating as a general merchandise retailer.
“We will be filing a case against the owner of the establishment,” Arnaldo said.
The seized pirated discs will all be shipped to the OMB’s office in Manila where it will be used as evidence for the case they will be filing in court.
According to lawyer Victor Luis Padilla II, executive director of the OMB, the case they will be filing against the store owner will be in violation of Republic Act 9239 or the Optical Media Act of 2003.
An inspection order from the OMB was served to the establishment before their personnel started checking the store and seizing the pirated disks.
Arnaldo said this recent confiscation should serve as a warning to other distributors or replicators engaging in piracy.
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