SHANGHAI, China – U.S. and Chinese authorities in Shanghai (search) have arrested six people, including two Americans, suspected of running an international counterfeit DVD (search) smuggling ring, police said.
The group is suspected of using the Internet to sell about 100,000 counterfeit DVDs, which were shipped to buyers in 25 countries. About 20,000 copies were sold to customers in the United States, said Gao Feng, deputy director of Shanghai's Economic Crime Investigation Department (search).
"The successful crackdown shows that piracy of intellectual property is a global issue, with no national boundaries," Gao told reporters Friday.
Officers in Shanghai seized more than 210,000 pirate DVDs and cash worth about $93,600, he said.
Shanghai police said the two Americans arrested July 1 in the case were being held in the city. They provided no further details about the two, and Yu refused further comment on the case, saying it was still under investigation.
The other four suspects were all Chinese citizens.
Shanghai police said the suspects may face charges of selling and producing counterfeit items as well as tax evasion. Such crimes carry a maximum penalty of about five years in prison, they said.
Theft in China of copyrights and patents cost Western companies an estimated $16 billion in lost sales each year. Despite sporadic arrests, counterfeit books, DVDs and music are easily available on almost every city street.