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Chapter closed: Guangzhou police shut down major pirated book operation

By Xu Zhesheng | | Updated: 2023-12-05 20:27
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Guangzhou police have dismantled a major criminal gang involved in the printing and sale of pirated books, seizing pirated books worth over 50 million yuan ($7 million) and arresting over 30 suspects.

The operation, which spanned several months, was sparked by a complaint from a mother surnamed Wang, who purchased heavily discounted educational books for her children from an online store. Upon receiving the books, Wang noticed significant quality issues, including missing pages, blurry printing, and poor paper quality.

Concerned about the potential health risks associated with the ink used in these books, as well as the negative impact on her children's learning due to incorrect pages and printing errors, Wang reported the matter to publication authorities.

An investigation confirmed that the books sold by the online store were indeed pirated, and the case was transferred to the local police for further investigation.

The police faced challenges due to the gang's use of false logistics information. However, after a prolonged surveillance operation, they managed to identify the key players and gather sufficient evidence.

The police discovered that the criminal gang operated with a clear division of labor and employed a modular management system, where only a few core individuals were fully aware of the gang's complete activities.

In July of this year, the police launched a unified crackdown on the criminal gang, raiding eight printing, binding, and distribution bases. They managed to arrest 33 criminal suspects and confiscated some 380,000 pirated educational books.

In addition, the owner of a logistics company, who allegedly colluded with the gang to provide false logistics information, was also taken into custody.

Yang Yu, deputy director of the food, drug, and environmental investigation division of the Guangdong Provincial Public Security Department, told China Central Television that this case was a typical and significant one in terms of intellectual property crimes. He emphasized the detrimental impact of such crimes on rights holders and the market environment, necessitating strict enforcement measures.

The case is currently undergoing further investigation.

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