Police investigating pirated video compact disc (VCD) production in Guangdong say outsiders, including Hong Kong people, are the main culprits. The provincial public security department has closed down five production lines and seized more than three million discs this year. Two of the cases involved Hong Kong citizens. Department deputy director Zhu Mingjian said: 'Most counterfeit VCD production lines are organised not by mainlanders, but by people in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.' He said the closeness of Hong Kong to Guangdong, low production costs and workers' ignorance contributed to rampant piracy. 'Since commuting between Hong Kong and China was made easier, offenders have been able to take advantage,' he said. The business is highly lucrative. VCDs cost between two yuan (HK$1.86) and five yuan to make and sell for more than 50 yuan. Mr Zhu ruled out corruption among provincial police officers. 'No officials have been found to be involved in the business so far,' he said. Guangdong had stepped up co-ordinated efforts with Hong Kong to beat piracy. Since 1996, police in the province have raided 66 production lines. 'Most of the pirated VCDs available in China now are made overseas and imported,' Mr Zhu said. A report by United States Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky said until 1996, the mainland was the world's leading exporter of pirated films, compact discs and computer discs. Mr Zhu said more effort would go into raiding production lines that remained.