Mumbai, June 23 (IANS) Belgium custom officials have seized 50,000 DVDs of Indian films worth Rs.16.5 million at the Brussels airport.
The custom officials in the Belgium capital, acting on a tip-off by the Shemaroo Entertainment with the local distributor and Stitching Indian Films and Music (SIFAM), seized the consignment of DVDs at the airport Friday.
The consignment consisted of 25,000 DVDs of Shemaroo's week-old film 'Mere Baap Pehle Aap' and an equal number of DVDs of songs, compilations and various other movies, the entertainment company said in a release here.
Sources alleged that a company called Applewood International in Hong Kong manufactures these pirated DVDs, which are later exported worldwide.
According to local distributors and retailers in Europe, for every new film in the first week itself an average of about 35,000 to 40,000 pirated DVDs are distributed in Europe, where the entry points primarily are Frankfurt and Brussels.
As Europe in size is a very big market for Bollywood titles, pirates first attack this market rather than the US and Britain, said custom authorities in Frankfurt and Brussels.
As a film is about to release, these pirates collect the film's publicity material from theatres and keep their DVD covers ready. For a timely world wide release of any film, the prints are dispatched one week before the actual release. One of the prints, from these centres is picked up and pirated DVDs are manufactured. Later, these are distributed on the second or third day of the film release, according to sources in Mumbai.
'This whole operation is well networked and runs like an organised crime, thereby making the pirated industry worth millions of dollars,' a dealer said here.