Police raid software pirates

Singaporean police raid several software pirates and impound thousands of conterfeit items

More than 100,000 pieces of counterfeit video CDs (VCDs), CD-ROMs and DVDs were seized, and 15 men were arrested, as police launched raids on three pirate syndicates on Saturday.

The raids, which involved 40 officers, lasted eight hours. Police had been monitoring the activities of the syndicates over three months, after raids in town had driven the pirates into the HDB heartlands.

The operators hired five vehicles to transport their illegal goods to pasar malam stalls in Ang Mo Kio, Chua Chu Kang and Toa Payoh.

"They rented the vehicles to elude detection," Deputy Assistant Commissioner Ang Hak Seng, who is deputy director of the CID, said. He told The Straits Times that four vans and a lorry were impounded.

The goods taken in the move had a street value of $800,000, and included illegal copies of Microsoft Letters Installer 2002.

The police expect to make more arrests after questioning the suspects. They also warned that "we will hit them at the place where it really matters, that is, their distribution networks."

The penalty for distributing or selling pirated goods is a fine of up to $100,000 (Singapore dollars), or a jail term not exceeding five years, or both.

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