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Life sentence for disc pirate

12 convicted for running Chinese smuggling biz

BEIJING — A Chinese court has sentenced the country’s biggest-known DVD pirate to jail for life after smashing his multimillion-dollar smuggling ring.

Lin Yuehua and 11 accomplices were convicted by a court in southern Guangxi region for running the biggest smuggling business “so far uncovered in China,” state news agency Xinhua reported. The gang members will be jailed for two to 15 years.

The court said Lin and his gang bought five production units to make DVDs and VCDs, set them up in an unspecified foreign country and then smuggled more than 30 million bootleg discs worth $24 million into China from 2002-05. Guangxi province borders Vietnam.

China is facing increased pressure from the U.S. and the European Union to crack down on intellectual property theft, and the government has conducted a series of high-profile raids and jailings of late.

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