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    Record haul of pirated disks destroyed

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    MOSCOW, June 1. (RIA Novosti) - The largest haul of pirated CDs and DVDs to be destroyed in Russia yesterday disappeared under a dump truck at the Solaryevo testing ground in the Moscow region, Gazeta, a popular daily, reported today.

    Four fully loaded dump trucks emptied about 100 metric tons of optical media that had been confiscated during a special operation, Counterfeit, which was recently conducted in the capital.

    The resultant heap was several meters high. The bright covers of the latest videos, pop albums and computer games, did not fit in with the gloomy landscape of the suburban junkyard, but looked more like the mess at Gorbushka, a popular Moscow market selling audio and video equipment, disks and tapes.

    Alexander Vorobyev, a spokesman for Russian Interior Ministry's economic security department, said that this was the biggest haul of pirated discs. Then the bulldozer got down to work, methodically crushing hundreds of boxes into the ground, leaving them no chance of returning to the counter.

    When asked why the plastic products were not recycled, the ministry spokesman said it was easier and cheaper to destroy the goods. "Moreover, practice shows destroying pirated goods has reduced their number by 20% this year alone," he added.

    According to the ministry, in 2005 it has launched 837 criminal cases related to copyright violations. This year the damage inflicted by these offenses has exceeded 200 million rubles (over $7 mln). The overall figure for last year was over 2 billion rubles ($70.9 mln).

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