KUALA LUMPUR: Police have declared their two-week nationwide crackdown on pirated and pornographic video compact discs (VCDs), which ended yesterday, a success and are now launching the second phase of operations against unhealthy activities.
All state police chiefs have been summoned to attend a meeting in Bukit Aman today to discuss the next phase of the operations.
Starting today, police will carry out checks on their next target – private clubs, associations and those who operate gaming and slot machines.
Federal police public relations officer Supt Jamshah Mustafa said in a statement that accurate information provided by the public had enabled police to successfully reduce the pirated and pornographic VCD menace.
“The continuous, integrated and firm action by police were successful and effective in wiping out these unhealthy activities” he said.
CID Director Comm Datuk Seri Salleh Mat Som said the June 8 deadline given by Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Norian Mai was for police to assess the extent of pirated and pornographic VCDs sales and distribution in the country, especially in the Klang Valley.
He said police now had a clearer picture of the situation and did not rule out the possibility that several of those involved in the illegal activities had gone into hiding.
“There is a strong possibility they may make a return after we slow down our operations.
“We will make sure we get them,” Comm Salleh said, adding that police would conduct raids against pirated and pornographic VCD traders indefinitely.
The police crackdown came on the orders of the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad to Norian Mai.
It was part of a larger operation, codenamed Ops Sepadu (Intergrated Operations), launched by police against not only pirated and pornographic VCDs but also vice, gaming and slot machines, drug abuse and entertainment outlets.
On checks on gaming permits, Comm Salleh said if any licensed club was found to have violated its permits, stern action would be taken.
“We will recommend to the Government to either revoke the licences or close down the club.
As of Saturday, a total of 464 people were detained for involvement in the production and distribution of pirated and pornographic video material. Over 2.3 million pirated VCDs and 141,931 pornographic VCDs were seized in 868 raids conducted during the two-week period nationwide.
Police also seized 2,098 slot machines and arrested 105 people when they raided 1,410 premises nationwide.
Another 3,918 people were picked up by police for drug-related offences, 337 people for offences at entertainment outlets and another 324 people for vice activities.
Police have urged the public to provide information on illegal activities by telephoning 03-2262-7741 and 03-2698-4386.
In Petaling Jaya, SUSAN TAM reports that daily raids by the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry had achieved a 80% success rate in cutting the supply of pirated and pornographic VCDs.
The ministry’s operations assistant co-ordinator Firdus Zakaria said in the Klang Valley alone, his officers had noticed a sharp drop in supply of pirated VCDs ever since the operation was launched late last month.