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April 23, 2010

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Police zero in on fakes

SHANGHAI police say they've been cracking down on sellers of fake luxury bags and watches and pirated DVDs, but the number of intellectual-property violations is rising.

Tang Xiliang, deputy director of the police department's economic investigation corps, said the city is conducting more combs of street vendors and markets.

"We are cracking down on this by cooperating with other departments twice a month and we crack them down as soon as they are seen," Tang told reporters.

Police said they've caught 126 suspects so far this year and solved 59 cases in which the confiscated infringing goods were estimated in value of 35 million yuan (US$5.13 million). All the figures were higher than those of the same period last year, police said yesterday.

Hongkou District police this month caught two suspects allegedly selling fake luxury watches and bags, with names such as Omega and Gucci, on the famous Qipu Road, for more than 1 million yuan.

The suspects, one surnamed Chen and the other surnamed Li, did not participate in the selling directly but used hired scalpers and part-time laborers while they hid behind a curtain, police said.

"They were very tricky," said Xi Jiarong, a detachment chief of Hongkou police. "The scalpers recognized the familiar faces of police and the store would have been closed if we just rushed there."

Xi said the police had dispatched plainclothes officers from other areas to investigate inside and around the stores before the action on April 6, in which they raided three dens of the suspects filled with 1,500 fake bags of Gucci and Chanel and watches of Vacheron Constantin, Piaget and Omega.


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