Three Hong Kong people were sentenced up to six years in jail by a Hong Kong district court on Monday for running a piracy syndicate.
The three men, aged 26 to 38, were arrested by Hong Kong Customs in 2005 for operating a pirated disc replicating workshop, two storage centers and three retail outlets. Officers seized more than 100,000 pirated discs and 16 replicating machines, which were worth about 2 million Hong Kong dollars (about US$256,410).
Hong Kong Customs then applied for a restraint order under the Organized and Serious Crimes Ordinance to freeze assets suspected to be proceeds derived from selling pirated discs, which were worth 4 million Hong Kong dollars (about US$512,821).
In accordance with Hong Kong District Court's verdict, Customs' Financial Investigation Group is preparing documents for making an application to the High Court for forfeiture of the frozen assets of more than 1 million Hong Kong dollars (about US$128,205).
Including this case, Customs has invoked the ordinance in the prosecution of five intellectual property rights cases with frozen assets amounting to 74 million Hong Kong dollars (about US$9.49 million).
(Xinhua News Agency May 29, 2007)