An anti-piracy raid on a warehouse in China netted police some 3 million pirated discs and a handful of suspects in what was the largest piracy case by volume in Shenzhen, according to a police press briefing yesterday and officials from the cultural department's enforcement team.
The raid was part of a three-month nationwide crackdown on piracy that got underway on July 15.
The pirated discs, with an estimated market value of 30 million yuan (US$3.8 million), had been smuggled in from Hong Kong and other countries by sea, said Fu Renyou, a director of the city's cultural enforcement team. Most of the discs were cartoons or educational, he added.
The authorities discovered that some of the discs had been produced by two Hong Kong audio and video companies that don’t have permission to sell their goods on the mainland, said Li Ruizhang, deputy director of the office in charge of pornographic and illegal publications.
Because Shenzhen is adjacent to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region many smugglers use it as a distribution center for pirated goods destined for various markets on the mainland, Li said.
He added that Shenzhen Customs had handed over an "amazing" number of pirated discs to his office. Li estimated that the number was as high as 20-30 million a year.
The 3 million discs confiscated in the raid had been kept in two warehouses in the basement of a department store in Shenzhen's Bao'an District near the No 107 national highway. The discs were being sold in surrounding cities.
About 20,000 officers raided 4,630 audio and video shops in the city during the three-month anti-piracy campaign. They took possession of more than 5 million pirated audio and video discs and 3,000 discs of pirated software.
(China Daily December 14, 2006)