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About Rainier

PC gamer, WorthPlaying EIC, globe-trotting couch potato, patriot, '80s headbanger, movie watcher, music lover, foodie and man in black -- squirrel!

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FBI Shuts Down SNES Piracy Operation

by Rainier on April 15, 2005 @ 12:49 a.m. PDT

The FBI has arrested four Chinese nationals in New York for allegedly distributing video game consoles that contain Nintendo's famous game software. With approximately 40 FBI agents, they seized more than 60,000 illegal products during five raids on April 13. The illegal products, marketed under the brand name "Power Player," contain dozens of pirated versions of popular Nintendo games like Donkey Kong, Mario Bros. and Duck Hunt.

Authorities say that between September and December 2004, the defendants imported 27 cargo containers holding more than 280,000 counterfeit video game systems. After several meetings, the defendants revealed to the undercover FBI agents the locations of their warehouses and provided information about their distribution network. On April 13, the undercover agents, posing as toy distributors, arrested the four defendants and confiscated illegal products, computers and business records. The FBI conducted accompanying searches in Queens, N.Y., Brooklyn, N.Y., and Maple Shade, N.J., near Philadelphia.

"Nintendo applauds the actions taken by the FBI. U.S. law enforcement authorities have played an instrumental role in attacking piracy in the U.S. and abroad," says Jodi Daugherty, Nintendo of America's director of anti-piracy. "Nintendo will continue to work with local, state, national and international authorities to combat the growing problem of product piracy around the world."

The New York raids are just the latest in a long line of criminal actions that Nintendo is currently supporting. For more than a decade, Nintendo of America Inc.'s anti-piracy team has led the charge against video game piracy around the world. During the first quarter of 2005, the team reports that more than 80 seizures of counterfeit Nintendo products were conducted, resulting in the confiscation of close to 180,000 products globally. In another FBI action earlier this month, a defendant in a Minnesota case pleaded guilty to copyright infringement and faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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