Sat, 29 Oct 1994

Police seize 12,000 copied video cassettes

JAKARTA (JP): City Police have confiscated 12,788 video cassettes in a one-day raid on the city's seven biggest outlets.

"The National Police chief has ordered us to clean up the city from pornographic and pirated video cassettes. We are trying to improve the image of our country's position against copyright violations before the APEC ( Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation) forum begins next month," head of the Economic Crimes of the City Police Crime Investigation Directorate, Lt. Col. Aryanto Sutadi, said here yesterday.

The raid, however, did not target other pirated brand named wristwatches, jeans, handbags and shoes. Such goods are easily found in many exclusive and non-exclusive shopping centers in the city yet no stern measures have been taken by the authorities thus far.

"The raid on such items is normally carried out after a formal complaint is filed, claiming a certain loss due to the sales and distribution of the imitations," Aryanto said.

During Thursday's raid, involving 40 city detectives, on three separate locations in the downtown Glodok area in West Jakarta, seven owners from the biggest video rental outlets were detained.

The suspects were identified as Wawa, A Thiong, Ki Hong, Frans, Christian, A Kim and Kian.

"All of them claimed, however, that they had no idea as to the whereabouts of their suppliers," Aryanto said.

The suspects admitted that they purchased the video cassettes from several different unidentified salesmen.


Based on preliminary questioning, police discovered that the owners bought the illegal video cassettes (Beta and VHS type) at prices between Rp 4,500 and Rp 7,000 (US$2.05 and $3.20) per cassette and later sold them for an additional Rp 1,000 and Rp 2,000 each.

The raid was carried out at outlets in the Glodok Building, Harco and Jembatan Metro shopping centers.

At each of the seven outlets, police seized at least 1,500 copies.

"But none of them were porn video cassettes," said Maj. Jimmy Sinaga, head of the Product and Trade of the Economic Crimes.

According to Jimmy, who led the raid, the owners had run their illegal businesses for the past three years.

The APEC forum is scheduled to be held next month in nearby Bogor but most of the delegates will stay at hotels in Jakarta.

According to Aryadi, similar crackdowns on unlicensed copies of video cassettes will be carried out on other locations within the next few days.

"We have already ordered all precinct heads to execute the raid as soon as possible," he said.

He reiterated that the operation would not include pirated brandname goods.

As of today, a wide number of products using Guy Laroche, Louis Vuitton, Adidas and Pierre Cardin, can be seen in many stores in the city.

The fake products, sold at prices far below the original, are believed to have been pirated by local and foreign companies.

In July, Societe Guy Laroche won a court battle after filing two lawsuits against an Indonesian businesswoman who had been selling her products using the same name and logo. (bsr)