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Police nab pirated Haibao gang

SHANGHAI police have caught three people who had produced and sold 300,000 pirated plush toys of Shanghai World Expo's mascot Haibao.

This is the nation's first case involving making and selling pirated Haibao toys, today's Shanghai Morning Post reported.

The trio, identified as Bai and his son and Zhao by police, hired a dozen women to make the toys at a workshop in a farmhouse in suburban Yangzhou City, in Shanghai's neighboring Jiangsu Province.

They set up an underground wholesale point at a residential flat in Hankou Road, 10 minutes' walk from Nanjing Road Pedestrian Mall where street vendors sold them to tourists.

Police said they sold 300,000 toys between October last year and February this year, illegally earning 400,000 yuan (US$58,608).

The copycat toys sell fast because they cost only a quarter of the genuine products.

For example, a pirated toy 50cm high sold for no more than 30 yuan, compared with 130 yuan for an authorized Haibao at an Expo franchise store.


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