OMG agents confiscating pirated CDs and DVDs. (from OMBs Facebook Page)

Some PHP37.2 million worth of pirated CDs and DVDs were confiscated by a combined team of police and Optical Media Board (OMB) personnel during a raid at the city central public market Thursday afternoon.

Joseph Arnaldo, OMB team leader, said at least 16 stalls inside the public market were involved in the raid.  They were caught selling illegally reproduced CDs and DVDs containing copyrighted music and movies, some of which are pornographic.  Arnaldo said the pirated materials, reportedly sourced from China, were sold at P30 to P35 each.

The operatives were able to gather 266 sacks of pirated material. Arnaldo said this is the second biggest haul in the city since 2016 when about PHP42 million worth of pirated CDs and DVDs were confiscated in a raid at the same public market.

The anti-piracy official valued the total haul at PHP37.2 million. He added that concerned citizens tipped authorities regarding the brazen selling of the pirated materials at the city’s public market.

“It is really rampant and involves a huge amount of money. So it is quite difficult to stop some traders to engage in selling these pirated optical disks,” he said in a radio interview on Friday.

The OMB will file cases against the stall owners for violation of Republic Act 9239 or the Optical Media Act of 2003.  The confiscated items, which were brought to the city police headquarters for inventory later to be to the OMB head office in Manila for destruction, will be used as evidence against the stall owners. (Rommel F. Lopez)