By Surihe Gaomas WINDHOEK Thousands of fake DVDs, CDs and cassettes worth millions of dollars were destroyed and buried at the rubbish dump of Kupferberg on the outskirts of the city yesterday morning. In light of the Anti-Piracy Campaign, the Namibian Society of Composers and Authors of Music (NASCAM), together with the Namibian Police, Customs and Excise and the City police, undertook a mission last year to confiscate and arrest anyone dealing in pirated goods. Consequently, this led to the confiscation and destruction of pirated CDs, DVDs and cassettes worth N$4 million. According to NASCAM’s Chief Executive Officer, Eino Max, most of the fake products come from Chinatown shops in Windhoek and the northern border town of Oshikango. “These are fake stuff from China and those that come through the border in the north. CDs are mostly from jukeboxes in Keetmanshoop, Grootfrontein, Aussenkher, Rosh Pinah and Mariental,” said Max, adding that the fake cassettes come into the country from neighbouring countries like Zambia, Zimbabwe and Angola. It turns out that due to inefficient control of pirated goods at the borders and ports owing to a lack of personnel, hundreds if not thousands of these fake products come into the country. Max informed New Era that the infiltration of pirated DVDs, CDs and cassettes which are largely found in Chinatown will tarnish the good name of the local music and film industry, if nothing is done to curb it in the first place. Namibia is turning into a favourite spot for making movies and music entertainment in Africa. Yet Max fears that if the latest trend of fake DVDs continue, this could have a “negative impact and the country will no longer be seen as a safe environment”. He noted that besides foreigners, locals are also to blame for pirating. “Locals are burning CDs and selling them to jukebox operators and we often find empty CD and DVD cases where some people have even wanted to plan manufacturing these fake goods here,” explained Max, adding that at Walvis Bay he was informed that the process of detecting every single fake item that comes through proves difficult due to a lack of manpower. In an effort to address the situation, regular police checks are conducted at borders and ports and several arrests have been made since the anti-piracy campaign got underway last year. Max noted however that in order to further strengthen the campaign, “there must be more officials from customs at the checkpoints on a rotational basis”. While bakkie-loads of fake pirated CDs, DVDs and cassettes were trashed at the dumpsite yesterday, Max noted that there are in fact more huge boxes of the same products at the NSACAM offices that cannot be destroyed as yet because the cases are still pending. Only after the culprits are arrested, charged and appear before court and the entire case finalised can these fake goods be destroyed.
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