May 13, 1996 in Nation/World

Hong Kong Finds Thousands Of Pirated Cds

Associated Press

Customs officers have seized 60,000 pirated compact discs and CD-ROM players smuggled into Hong Kong from China and the government says it’s the largest such seizure ever.

Three people were arrested, the government said in a statement Sunday. It said the pirated goods were worth $384,615.

It said 20,000 pirated CDs were found in a truck at the Hong Kong-China border checkpoint on Saturday. Customs officers raided a Hong Kong warehouse on Sunday and seized 40,000 more CDs and CD-ROMs.

The government said it was determined to suppress copyright piracy in Hong Kong. Last year it raised the maximum penalty for piracy from one year to two years for first-time offenders.

U.S. officials fear Hong Kong is becoming a distribution export center for pirated CDs and high-value software from neighboring China.

China’s 34 CD factories, some financed with Hong Kong money, have an annual production capacity of 90 million for a home market of at most five million, U.S. officials say.

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