The Phnom Penh municipal police have begun another campaign to crack down on the
sale of illegally copied video and music CDs. Recent raids have seen 16 vendors arrested
and more than 20,000 discs seized.
Heng Peo, deputy commissioner of the municipal police, said the police would also
target the illegal factories where the CDs were manufactured.
"More than 2 million CDs and VCDs are copied each year," he said. "If
we don't crack down on them, film and karaoke producers will suffer such losses it
could turn our culture upside down."
Peo said his officers had carried out the raids at the Central Market and the Olympic
Market following a complaint from the Cambodian Movie Association (CMA), whose products
are regularly bootlegged days after release.
The 16 vendors were allowed to go free after compensation was paid to the CMA of
between $1,000 and $1,500 and were warned not to sell pirated goods again.
"We don't want them to go to jail," said the CMA's Ly Bun Yim. "We
just want them to stop their business. If it is stopped, it will strengthen our culture,
because if our culture dies, the nation will die too."