Singapore nets record piracy haul

Thursday, 27 February 2003, 5:03 PM EST

Police in the strictly controlled city-state confiscated more than 124,000 pirated compact discs containing games, software and music Tuesday in a three-hour raid on 10 shops and an apartment. Police also said that more arrests were expected.

The haul is the biggest ever for a single raid in Singapore. Two years ago, police arrested 800 people and seized about $4 million in unlicensed software and music during at least 30 raids on the Sim Lim office block, a former showcase of contraband software.

U.S. film, software, video game and music companies are urging Washington to crack down harder on foreign piracy of their products, which they say cost the U.S. economy an estimated $20 billion to $22 billion in 2002.

Singapore, which has stepped up its fight against piracy in the past two years, has agreed to enforce copyright protection under a free-trade pact agreed last month with the United States.

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