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New raid searches for more Chen pictures
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Hong Kong police took away several computers belonging to singer and actor Edison Chen during a search at his residence on Thursday night.

The search is the latest move to probe into a nude pictures scandal that has shocked the world's Chinese-speaking community.

Police will comb the computers to see whether the 27-year-old star has any racy pictures stored other than the 1,300 private shots officers have already seized that show him in bed with at least half of a dozen female celebrities including Gillian Chung and Vincy Yang, Chen's current girlfriend, China News Service reported.

The photos were said to have been leaked by employees of a computer-repair shop from a faulty laptop believed to belong to Chen.

So far more than 800 pictures have been circulated on the Internet, creating a media frenzy and heated discussions on BBS communities both in Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland.

The search started around 5 pm on Thursday, soon after Chen left his news conference where he pledged to quit the Hong Kong entertainment industry after admitting he was the one who shot most of the raunchy photos.

The search will also help police find more evidence to determine whether criminal acts were involved in the scandal, the report said.

Besides searching his computer, the police also required Chen to answer whether 18-year-old Yang, who is the niece of the boss of Chen's agent company, was above the age of 16 when she was snapped nude in shower.

Yang is still a college student in the United States.

The Prevention of Child Pornography Ordinance in Hong Kong prohibits the use, procurement or offer of people under the age of 16 for making pornography or for live pornographic performances.

Any person who prints, makes, produces, reproduces, copies, imports or exports any child pornography can be indicted to a fine of HK$2 million (US$304,044) and to imprisonment for up to eight years.

Canada-born Chen told more than 300 reporters at the news conference on Thursday that he was "sorry to those ladies and their families" involved in the scandal.

He said he hoped he could have "the public's forgiveness" and "a new chance."

In another development, a man was detained in the eastern province of Zhejiang for posting explicit photographs of Hong Kong celebrities on the Internet, local police said yesterday.

Ten people who allegedly produced, sold or bought computer discs of the photos were arrested in the southern city of Shenzhen last week, when police confiscated about 250 discs and six computers used to produce the discs.

(Shanghai Daily, February 23, 2008)

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