Arrests made as UAE resellers caught red-handed

Seven people have been arrested and more than 200 CDs with pirated software applications confiscated following raids on IT resellers in the UAE.

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By  Andrew Seymour Published  June 5, 2007

Seven people have been arrested and more than 200 CDs with pirated software applications confiscated following raids on IT resellers in the UAE. The move was initiated by Microsoft, which has recently adopted a more forceful approach to addressing software piracy in the region.

According to details released by the Business Software Alliance - which looks after the interests of the software industry and counts most of the largest vendors as members - raids were carried out on several dealers in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

In Dubai, three people were arrested following swoops on a trio of IT resellers in the Bur Dubai area. Authorities also removed four PCs containing illegally downloaded software and 118 CDs of pirated versions of software, including Windows XP and Service Packs.

The Abu Dhabi raids resulted in four arrests, seizure of three PCs and 84 CDs loaded with pirated software applications. Names of the resellers involved in the raids have not yet been released by the BSA due to the ongoing legal nature of the cases.

"The UAE fully recognises that the healthy growth of the country's IT sector is dependent to a large extent on the rate of piracy in the country, and these anti-piracy raids complement the country's long term vision of economic growth," said Jawad Al Redha, co-chairman at BSA Middle East.

He added: "We highly appreciate the efforts of the UAE authorities for their sustained battle to control software piracy, which has affirmed their commitment to create a digital economy in the country."

The latest raids conducted on resellers across the emirates follow a new hardline approach being taken by Microsoft Gulf. Already this year, the company has reached out-of-court settlements with two Dubai software resellers - Royal Focus Trading and Sun Rose Computer - found guilty of breaching intellectual property rights.

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