A Chinese man, believed to be the manufacturer of pirated CDs, DVDs and cassettes, was arrested yesterday in the biggest bust of CD and DVD counterfeiting operations in South Africa.
Thousands of counterfeit cassettes, DVDs and CDs and manufacturing equipment, worth an estimated R1,5million, were seized in a joint police and music industry raid at a factory in Kempton Park.
The man, who has been running the factory for the past three years, was arrested with his wife and two employees.
Two men, allegedly Zimbabwean buyers with R12000 in cash, were also arrested.
Yesterday morning investigators from the Recording Industry of South Africa (Risa) and members of the Kempton Park organised crime unit stormed the three-storey building and discovered boxes of finished products ready to be distributed to dealers throughout the country neatly stacked against the walls.
Oupa Moloi of Risa said the manufacturer charged his dealers R3,50 a cassette, R6,50 for a CD and R9 for a DVD.
Moloi said the factory has been under surveillance for some time.
He said Risa had seized more than a million pirated copies in more than 80 raids across the country this year.
"This is the biggest bust. This was the main factory in Gauteng. We believe there are two more factories operating outside of Gauteng. We will continue with our investigations until we get rid of all these factories," Moloi said.
He said the arrested people would appear in the Kempton Park magistrates' court tomorrow on a charge of contravening the Copyrights Act.
Mzwakhe Mbuli, a spokesman for Operation Dudula, commended Risa and the police.
"Piracy amounts to crime. We applaud all agencies combating syndicates hellbent on destroying talent in this country."