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Police seize counterfeit sportswear and kites

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Police authorities have seized a large quantity of counterfeit brand-name sports garments and cartoon kites during several raids in the southern city of Tainan and the northern county of Taipei in the past few days, police sources said yesterday.

Members of the Intellectual Property Rights Police (IPRP) task force under the National Policy Agency discovered a vendor's stall at a traditional market in Tainan selling a wide range of counterfeit brand-name sportswear products, including NIKE, ADIDAS, PUMA and YANKEE, during a recent crackdown on counterfeiting, according to the sources.

During the raids, IPRP members confiscated a total of 1,500 counterfeit brand-name items and arrested the stall operator, surnamed Chung, for trademark infringement. The products were being sold for only NT$100 a piece.

The sources noted there is a growing trend among wholesalers of counterfeit goods to distribute their products through markets in southern Taiwan in the wake of several rounds of crackdowns on pirated goods launched by police in the Wufenpu shopping area of Taipei City in the north.

IPRP officers also found that a number of counterfeit kites carrying patented cartoon graphics, such as Kitty Cat, Pikachu, and Hamsterz, were sold at several scenic spots in Kaohsiung and Pingtung in southern Taiwan, the sources said, adding those kites also did not carry labels regarding child safety, nor laser marks indicating that they are genuine products.

After tracking down the products' origins, IPRP officers detained two suspects after seizing over 20,000 finished and semi-finished counterfeit kites and a batch of manufacturing equipment, with a collective market value of more than NT$10 million at a manufacturing plant in Chungho City and a warehouse in Taishan township, both in Taipei County.

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