An illegal DVD raid turned ugly when officials from the Malaysian domestic trade ministry were threatened with parangs and daggers.
At about 4am on Wednesday, 13 officials from the ministry raided a terrace house allegedly doubling as an illegal DVD warehouse in Cheras in Kuala Lumpur.
Six DVD peddlers and a man who claimed to be a tenant in the house were initially arrested, China Press reported.
But seven of their armed accomplices, aged between 16 and 40, came out of nowhere and rescued the six men. The tenant was left behind. The rest escaped in three cars.
One of the cars turned into the main road while the other two, a Toyota Vios and a Proton Iswara, went the other way and found themselves at a dead end.
The Toyota Vios managed to slip away in the chaos, but the Proton Iswara was forced to stop after a van from the ministry rammed into it.
In the meantime, police had arrived on the scene. In all, RM70,000 (S$27,300) worth of items were seized from the raid, including 6,048 DVDs.
The ministry's Putrajaya enforcement division special task force chief Fahmi Kasim said the officers had no choice but to release the men as they were threatened by the seven armed men.
He said the policemen who arrived at the scene arrested two of the armed men. The enforcement officers had managed to nab two of them earlier.
The special task force chief said that before the seven accomplices appeared, the officials had seized the six men's identity cards.
Other than the pirated DVDs, the law enforcement officials also seized five vehicles.
One was the Proton Iswara that four of the 13 men tried to escape in. The other four cars were found parked outside the terrace house. They are believed to be used to transport and peddle DVDs.
Some DVDs, umbrellas and shelves were found in the car boots, believed to be used to set up stalls to peddle the DVDs.
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