Operation Torpedo sinks Hong Kong movie pirates


Mumbai: From September 29 to October 1, the International Federation Against Copyright Theft – Greater China (IFACT-GC) representing the Motion Picture Association (MPA) and the CJ Mark Committee (CJ Mark) in Hong Kong, joined forces with over 120 officers from the Hong Kong Customs Intellectual Property Investigation Bureau (IPIB) and the Special Task Force (STF) in a territory-wide anti-piracy operation against a series of distribution and retail outlets selling pirated optical discs in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

19 retail shops and a warehouse were raided during the three-day long operation. Fifteen men and a woman, aged between 34 and 55, were arrested and 63,271 pirated optical discs were seized. The majority of the DVDs seized were copies of Hollywood, Hong Kong and Japanese movie and TV series titles, including such blockbuster titles as The Dark Knight, Hellboy II: The Golden Army and Kung Fu Panda as well as TV series Lost and Prison Break. Over 9,000 pirated optical discs were copies of a number of titles owned by members of CJ Mark (a Japanese rights owners association) including The Family, Galileo and Nodame Cantabile.

Hong Kong Customs estimated that the seizures created a revenue loss of HK$1,147,963 ($147,175) to the pirates.

"This operation by Hong Kong Customs brought to an immediate stop to these pirates’ plans to make a quick buck during the Golden Week holidays celebrating China’s National Day," said IFACT-GC executive director and general manager Sam Ho. "In addition to a huge revenue loss, the 16 suspected pirates arrested by Hong Kong Customs during Operation Torpedo face a prospect of going to prison for their crimes. On behalf of all rights holders represented by IFACT-GC, I commend Hong Kong Customs for their determined and effective enforcement action."