Hong Kong – Hong Kong Customs Crack Down on Internet Bar, Arrest Four
On March 8, 2010, ten officers from the Hong Kong Customs Intellectual Property Investigation Bureau (IPIB) assisted by an investigator from the IFACT-GC raided an Internet Bar located in Hong Kong’s Western District. Three men and a woman aged between 28 and 61 were arrested during the raid.
Officials seized 101 computers and nine servers containing more than 200 movies and 4000 music files in MP3 format. Ninety of the movie files were infringing Motion Picture Association member company titles including Hong Kong Top Ten Movies “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”, “2012” and “Avatar”, which was still on theatrical release in Hong Kong at the time of the raid. 100 movie and music files were infringing CJ Mark member company titles including “Keroro Gunso”, “Death Note”, “Ayumi Hamasaki” and “Namie Amuro”.
The Internet Bar could accommodate more than 100 people viewing movies simultaneously through its servers and Intranet at an average price of HK$8 (US$1.03) per hour.
The IFACT-GC investigator verified titles at the scene, confirming the files on the servers were infringing MPA and CJ member company titles. A criminal investigation is ongoing and the IFACT-GC will provide logistic and legal support throughout, up to and including trial.
Hong Kong – 59 People Arrested and HK$7 Million of Pirated and Counterfeit Goods Seized
On February 8, 2010, the Hong Kong Customs & Excise Department announced the result of a two-week operation against pirated and counterfeit goods in the lead up to the Lunar New Year.
Customs officers raided 25 retail shops, 10 warehouses, and nine street vendors and conducted spot checks on 5,495 vehicles and over 9,000 passengers at border control points. The operation resulted in 26 men and 33 women being arrested and over HK$7 million worth of counterfeit and pirated products being seized. Seizures included 45,000 pirated optical discs (including blockbuster title “2012” and Hong Kong and Korean TV series titles) and counterfeited high-tech electronic products, clothing, and shoes.
Source: Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department
Hong Kong – IFACT-GC Leads MPA Program Heads on Visit to Shenzhen Enforcement Authorities
On December 7, 2009, representatives of IFACT-GC and the Program Heads of the MPA’s India and New Zealand offices (the Delegation), visited the Shenzhen Municipal General Culture Market Administrative Enforcement Task Force and Shenzhen Municipal Ministry of Culture, meeting senior officials from both authorities. Both parties noted the excellent cooperation over the past decade with strengthening international links resulting in a significant improvement in content protection in Shenzhen. All agreed that the strategic partnership should be further strengthened in line with the development of the Intellectual Property Economy in the Greater China region.
After a constructive and fruitful meeting the Delegation witnessed an enforcement operation against a licensed Audio-Video shop in Bao’an District resulting in the seizure of 12,000 pirated optical discs and the revocation of the shop’s Audio-Video license.
Hong Kong – 19 People Arrested in Operation “Netstorm” for Selling Counterfeit Goods
On December 10, 2009, Hong Kong Customs & Excise Department announced the success of Operation “Netstorm”, targeting people selling counterfeit goods through Internet auction sites.
“Netstorm” was launched on November 25 and by December 10 had resulted in the arrest of 19 people and seizures of counterfeit goods and computers worth around HK$170,000 (US$21,800). Seizures include handbags, wallets, jewellery, sunglasses, clothes, shoes and socks as well as number of computers used for the online auction dealings.
The operation will continue over the Christmas and Chinese New Year holiday period and Hong Kong Customs have reminded the public that selling counterfeit goods is a serious crime that results in a criminal record when convicted. Close cooperation with auction sites means that it is possible to quickly identify anyone selling illegal goods through auction sites.
Anyone who comes across any suspected counterfeiting activities can report it to Hong Kong Customs by calling the Customs 24-hour hotline 2545 6182.
Hong Kong – Three Month Police Operation in Southern China Confirms OC Movie Piracy Link
The extent of Organized Crime involvement in movie piracy was graphically demonstrated once again in a December 3, 2009 announcement by the Hong Kong Police Force detailing the results of a three month, tri-partite operation by enforcement authorities in Hong Kong, Guangdong and Macau.
In Hong Kong the operation, codenamed “Thunderbolt 09” resulted in the arrest of 1,959 people and seizures worth more than HK$42 million (US$5.5million) including weapons, drugs and pirated movies on optical discs.
Optical discs worth HK$7million – a sixth of the value of all Hong Kong seizures showed the significance of pirated movies to the city’s organized criminals. The discs were seized in raids at 7,000 locations including discos, game centres, vice dens, massage parlours and residential units. Seizures included drugs, weapons – including two guns – and illegal and soccer and horseracing betting records.
Anti-organised crime investigators from Hong Kong, Macau and Guangdong authorities cooperated in the intelligence-led operation aimed at disrupting the illicit income of the organized crime syndicates targeted.