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Fight to intensify on counterfeiters
By Cui Ning (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-04-29 21:54

The Supreme People's Procuratorate says it will further step up efforts to crack down on fake and substandard food, drugs and agricultural production materials.

It will also pay more attention to cases involving production or distribution of faked famous brands and pirated books or discs.

The move is driven by the recent spat of infant deaths caused by sub-standard milk powder.

Some 13 infants in Central China's Anhui Province died of malnutrition.

The Supreme People's Procuratorate will send supervisors next month to Anhui and other provinces or autonomous regions where counterfeiting runs rampant and threatens people's health and daily life, said deputy procurator-general Sun Qian at a news conference Thursday in Beijing.

"We will supervise regional police to timely arrest criminals who make and sell faked products, and those infringing on intellectual property rights," said Sun.

"We will also intensify supervision to prevent and halt any cases where criminals are fined to help them escape criminal responsibility," he said.

Local protectionism still exists in some areas. Regional administrative departments only fine suspects instead of investigating their penal responsibilities, said Sun. This weak crackdown has resulted in more rampant counterfeiting activities.

Moreover, some bribed governmental officials even cover up or work with counterfeiters. These officials act as a "protecting umbrella" for counterfeiters, said Sun.

He called on regional procuratorate authorities to keep a close eye on governmental officials who are intent on accepting bribes and shielding illegal activities.

The current fight against counterfeiting and intellectual property infringement has been ongoing for the past two years, said procuratorate spokesman Zhang Zhongfang.

Last year, 531 criminals were arrested in 330 cases of intellectual property rights violations, another 1,597 were arrested in 806 cases of making and selling faked products, said Zhang.

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