The Myanmar authorities have imposed heavy punishment starting this year upon sales of unlicensed local and foreign VCD/DVD/EVD discs with a term of imprisonment ranging from six months to three years instead of just a cash fine previously, according to the Yangon City Development Committee Sunday.Surprise check will be carried out against video production companies, video disc selling and leasing shops as well as individual residential houses, the sources said.

In the past, the authorities imposed a fine of 100,000 kyats ( 100 U.S. dollars) on such sale.

Meanwhile, the authorities warned that the illegally imported VCD/DVD/EVD features may imitate wrong life style, pointing that some scenes appearing in these records are against Myanmar culture and traditions and are considered not suitable for public show.

Action is also being taken against violators, who pirated video features, and VCD/DVD/EVD discs legally produced by local distributors to prevent exploitation of those in the profession.

According to earlier local report, at least dozens of big and small pirated-disc-selling shops in different townships were seized last year during surprise checks with a fine of 200,000 kyats (200 dollars) each imposed on the shops.

During the last few years, the Myanmar authorities occasionally seized and destroyed large amount of local and foreign uncensored, pornographic and pirated video tapes and discs valued at tens of thousands of U.S. dollars.