Saudi Arabianofficials have seized over 2.2m pirate DVDs, VCDs, DVD-Rs and VHS cassettes ina raid on a major pirate distribution centre in Dammam, in the Eastern Provinceof Saudi Arabia.

It isone of the biggest ever seizures of pirate product in the entire EMEA (Europe,the Middle East and Africa) region.

Three Indian nationals were arrestedas part of the operation, which took place on August 29 and was conducted byArabian Anti-Piracy Alliance (AAA) personnel, local Police officers andMinistry of Information officials.

Amongst major movie titles seized inthe raid were Fantastic Four, Kingdom of Heaven, xXx: State of the Union, Submerged,and Kung Fu Hustle.

The raided warehouse belonged to alocal video outlet believed to be one of the main distributors of pirate movieproduct in the Kingdom's Eastern Province.

The distribution hub supplied pirateproduct to retail outlets and street vendors across the Province, and evenhoused its own call centre to service its customers. All together, 1,025,400 VCDs,956,000 DVDs, 295,500 VHS cassettes and 10,000 DVD-Rs were seized in theoperation.

The Motion Picture Association (MPA)is now pressing the Saudi authorities for the closure of the video outlet andfor the imposition of deterrent penalties on those involved (rather than theirdeportation from the Kingdom, which is the usual response of the authorities insuch cases).

DaraMacGreevy, Vice President and Regional Director for Anti-Piracy in EMEA for theMotion Picture Association. "Only when pirates in the Kingdom face the realpossibility of jail time will there be a realistic hope of deterrence."