Labradors Lucky and Flo became the first four-legged recipients of commendation medals conferred by the Malaysian government for outstanding service. The medals were conferred for five months of exception sniffing services for Malaysian anti-piracy enforcement authorities.

Lucky and Flo are the world's first dogs trained to identify optical discs by scent.

Last March, the dogs were initially introduced in a month-long trial program code named "Operation Double Trouble," which was aimed in part at providing the Ministry of Domestic Trade & Consumer Affairs (MDTCA) with the opportunity to thoroughly consider the feasibility of establishing a dog unit within its enforcement division.

Following the March raid of a shopping complex in Johor Baru, where the dogs
assisted authorities in the identification and seizure of over 1 million pirated discs valued at more than $2.6 million, the Malaysian government reported threats that syndicate bosses were offering a RM100,000 ($29,000) reward for the dogs' heads. Since then, the dogs have been closely guarded.

Since then, the pair's noses have led to 26 arrests and seizures totaling an estimated value in excess of $6 million. Included in this value are over 1.6 million optical discs, three DVD replicating machines and 97 CD-R burners.

As a result of the success of Lucky and Flo as canine anti-piracy investigators, the MDTCA is setting up their own K9 unit with the donation of two Labradors by the Motion Picture Assn. (MPA).

In 2006, the MPA's operations in the Asia-Pacific region investigated more than 30,000 cases of piracy and assisted law enforcement officials in conducting nearly 12,400 raids. These activities resulted in the seizure of more than 35 million illegal optical discs, 50 factory optical disc production lines and 4,482 optical disc burners, as well as the initiation of more than 11,000 legal actions.

The award presentation ceremony was held in Putrajaya. The pair will soon leave the country for New York, the next stop in their piracy fighting tour of duty.

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