Shanghai will prosecute the city's largest criminal case of copyright violation, a business worth US$9 million and involving suspects in five countries, officials announced yesterday.
Prosecutors said a gang headed by Ma Jingyi and Yu Yifan made and sold pirated computer software.
The case, investigated by Shanghai police and their United States counterparts for 16 months, involves more than US$9 million and contacts in China, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia.
Prosecutors said Ma, a 49-year-old local native, absconded back to the city in February 2003 after he was wanted by the US police for selling pirated software.
Ma and Yu, 52, also a local native, formed three companies from July 2003 to rent network spaces and open Websites to negotiate with overseas clients on pirated software business, according to a release from the Shanghai Intellectual Property Administration.
Prosecutors said after receiving orders, Ma told his gang members in the US to post pirated software to overseas clients via the express mail service of Fedex. The money was transmitted to Ma's accounts in the US and Canada, officials said.
Ma was also allegedly engaged in the pirated DVD business. The pirated products were mailed to his US gang members for sale, prosecutors said.
On July 6, 2007, Ma and 10 other members were arrested in Shanghai, Beijing and Shenzhen in Guangdong Province.