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12 Arrested Under Anti-Piracy Crack Down In USA
17 December 2003
On December 17, 2003, United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents working with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and assisted by the Chicago Police Department entered six retail stores in the W. Devon Avenue area of Chicago and seized approximately 97,000 DVD's, audio cassettes, videocassettes and CD's containing counterfeit and pirated copies of Indian films and music. The law enforcement agents also seized over 300 video copying machines, copies of counterfeit artwork, VHS labels and counterfeit holograms, computers, business records, and equipment and supplies used for packaging counterfeit products. In addition, searches and seizures were conducted at 6 residences in the Chicago Metropolitan Area. Seizures were made at the following retail locations:

- Geet Video, 6353 N. Western Avenue
- Devika Five Star, 2502 W. Devon Avenue
- India Books, 2729 W. Devon Avenue
- Raj Video, 2515 W. Devon Avenue
- Videotron, 2331 W. Devon Avenue
- Videovision, 2524 W. Devon Avenue

Representatives from Yash Raj Films and other Indian film and music companies assisted law enforcement in its investigation and were present at the seizures and assisted in the identification of the illegal audio cassettes, videocassettes, DVD's and CD's containing unauthorized copies of films, sound recordings and artwork. Other members of the Indian film and music industry were notified and unauthorized copies of their products and artwork were also seized. The law enforcement officers arrested 12 individuals and have turned over the results of their raids to the Illinois State Attorney's Office for criminal prosecution.

Despite the numerous warnings and communications by and on behalf of the Indian film and music companies, various parties continue to duplicate, display and distribute illegal, unauthorized copies of Indian motion pictures and sound recordings.

These most recent seizures and arrests serve as a warning to film and music pirates that the Indian film and music industry intends to aggressively prosecute companies and individuals that engage in piracy.

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