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Thursday, December 07, 2000
Hong Kong smashes Hi-Tech pirating racket

"...Hong Kong's anti-graft agency has smashed a syndicate suspected of producing stampers for export to South America to make counterfeit VCDs, CDs and computer software. The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) said on Thursday it had arrested six people over the weekend and seized stampers worth $51 million. The four men and two women arrested have been released on ICAC bail while the investigation continues, the ICAC said.

During the operation, the ICAC seized more than 500 VCD and CD stampers, some tapes used for making stampers, digital camera tapes containing current movies being shown locally, and 25 stampers containing Microsoft software.

The London-based International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), which represents 1,400 record producers, had confirmed that the majority of the CD and VCD stampers were either counterfeits or infringing on copyrights. Microsoft's Hong Kong office confirmed that the 25 stampers containing Microsoft software were unauthorized and that each of them was valued at US$2 million. "Such a seizure was believed to be the largest of its kind so far," the ICAC said..."

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