Hong Kong Customs will for the first time apply the Organized and Serious Crimes Ordinance (OSCO) on intellectual property rights related crime to apply for restraint order to freeze the assets of a syndicate worth nearly $20 million.
In a territory-wide operation codenamed "Spur" today (July 7) following one-year-long investigations, Customs officers rooted out one of the biggest local pirated optical discs syndicates. This syndicate was suspected of operating a number of discs replicating centres, storage centres, and a huge network of retail outlets in Kowloon and on Hong Kong Island, with Sham Shui Po and Wan Chai in particular.
Customs officers believed that this syndicate was an organised and systematically run illicit source of supplying pirated optical discs of computer software, and computer/TV games.
Overall, Customs officers had arrested four men and four women, aged between 20 and 49.
Three storage centres, a discs replicating centre, and eight retail outlets of pirated discs were also smashed.
Participating in the operation were over 150 Customs officers from various Departmental formations, including Special Task Force, Financial Investigation Group, Intelligence Bureau, and the Computer Forensic Laboratory.
The Assistant Commissioner of Customs and Excise (Intelligence and Investigation), Mr William Chow said at a press conference today (July 7) the success of this operation best demonstrated that the Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department is always committed to rooting out piracy to protect intellectual property rights.
Also participating in the press conference were the Group Head of the Special Task Force, Mr Albert Chan; and the Group Head of the Financial Investigation Group, Mr Eric Ho.
Ends/Wednesday, July 7, 2004