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Sino-U.S. Operation Nabs Major Pirate Software Gangs
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Chinese police and the FBI joined forces to break up two pirate software gangs in Shanghai and Shenzhen in an operation codenamed "Summer Solstice", the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) said on Tuesday.

"Twenty-five suspects were arrested in the joint campaign and 360,000 pieces of pirated software were confiscated along with their property worth over 60 million yuan (US$ 7.9 million) by the Chinese police," said Gao Feng, deputy head of the ministry's department for the investigation of economic crimes.

The FBI confiscated software worth over US$ 2 million and the gangs' other belongings worth US$ 700,000, according to Gao.

Gao said in 2006 Chinese police suspected a man surnamed Ma of selling pirated software in Shanghai and found Ma and other gang members were colluding with people from the United States. The Chinese police notified the FBI's Beijing office in June, 2006 and asked for its help.

In October 2006, the FBI notified the Chinese police that its Los Angeles bureau had found that at least two Chinese men from Shenzhen, surnamed Wang and Che, were producing and selling pirated software in the United States, Gao said. In March 2007, Chinese police representatives visited the U.S. Department of Justice to discuss bilateral cooperation against cross-border infringement of intellectual property rights (IPR).

FBI representatives came to China in June to exchange intelligence and evidences for the case and finalized the joint operation plan.

"As IPR crimes are getting more and more global, professional and covert, the Chinese government and law enforcement agencies will step up cooperation with their foreign counterparts in cracking down on such crimes," Gao said.

(Xinhua News Agency July 25 2007)

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