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Agencies nab organized counterfeiters
(China Daily)
Updated: 2004-04-26 19:02

Police caught some underwear smugglers with their pants down in Dongguan last week.

In a joint action, law enforcement personnel from Guangdong Provincial Bureau of Public Security and the Administration of Industry and Commerce seized more than 30,000 fake sets of underwear labelled with the famous brand name of "Montagut".

It is the biggest such seizure in Guangdong Province this year.

Meanwhile,officers recovered 110 fake Rolex brand watches, 2.45 million pirated VCDs and CD-ROMs, and 60,000 copies of pirated books and publications, along with many fake cosmetics, cigarettes, foreign brand wines and printers during the raid.

The fake products were estimated to have a street value of more than 82 million yuan (about US$10 million).

Officers arrested 108 suspects for questioning after 21 fake production locations were destroyed.

Despite the finds,a senior provincial official handling intellectual property rights matters Monday reiterated Guangdong's firm stance on protecting copyrights and fighting piracy.

Li Zhongduo, director-general of Intellectual Property Office of Guangdong Provincial Government, said the move is part of continuing efforts to ensure fair and open market climate for developing the economy in the southern province that borders Hong Kong and Macao.

Addressing a news conference in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong Province, Monday, Li said the province would try to provide a firm legal guarantee for economic, technological and cultural exchanges and co-operation between the prosperous province and the world.

To that end, a promotion week on anti-piracy and protecting intellectual property rights was launched in the province Monday.

Li also promised to further expand co-operation with his counterparts Hong Kong and Macao in intellectual property protection.

Both Guangdong and Hong Kong have established a special task force to focus on handling IPR cases and related issues, Li said.

And Guangdong Customs and its Hong Kong counterparts launched three joint campaigns to fight piracy and smuggling of pirated VCDs and CD-ROMs last year.

More than 17,000 pirated VCDs and CD-ROMs were seized while as many as 12,000 passengers who travelled between Guangdong and Hong Kong and 4,000 vehicles were inspected in the three campaigns.

Li said anti-piracy was a long-term task in Guangdong Province which has become a major anti-piracy front in the country.

He vowed that Guangdong would never become a haven for piracy events.

Last year alone, Guangdong police and personnel from administrations of industry and commerce handled a total of 288 intellectual property rights infringement cases which involved more than 170 million yuan (US$20.48 million).

And economic losses valued at more than 14 million yuan (US$1.7 million) had been retrieved.

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