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June 28, 2002 12:59pm
Pirated Porn Seized in China
Source: AP

(BEIJING, CHINA) -- Authorities in southern China's Guangdong Province have seized 5.2 million pirated pornographic movie discs from two vessels, the official Xinhua News Agency said Friday, identifying it as the biggest haul ever confiscated in a single outing.

A police launch was dispatched Monday night after a tip that two vessels loaded with pirated discs were unloading at a port in the city of Huizhou that night.

Police spotted one vessel at sea but found the smugglers had already fled, Xinhua said. Aboard, authorities found about 2.2 million pornographic discs in 2,200 boxes.

Another vessel, found at about the same time off the coast of Huizhou, was carrying over 3 million porn discs, Xinhua said.

It was unclear whether the movies were DVDs or cheaper, less-sophisticated VCDs, which are also very popular in the Chinese market. Xinhua also did not give details on what kind of sexually explicit material the discs contained.

Earlier this month, customs officers in Shantou, another city in Guangdong, seized more than 3 million pirated discs from a smuggling vessel.

China, newly admitted to the World Trade Organization, is in the midst of what it calls a nationwide battle against counterfeit and pirated products, and movies - as intellectual property - are a prime target. The government also takes a strict stance against any kind of pornography.

Regional authorities, especially in southern China, often hold public destructions of pirated discs, enlisting steam rollers and wood chippers to turn the movie and music discs into millions of plastic shards.

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