Leading textbook supplier Ching Fung Book Store, sold pirated textbooks to Hong Kong schools and students for a big profit, Headline Daily reported Monday.
About 30 percent of textbooks sold to 35 primary schools were pirated, the report said, citing customs officials.
Authorities seized more than 7,400 textbooks for primary one to six worth HK$530,000 (US$68,386) from two stores and a warehouse. Four people were arrested, including two directors of the company.
The bookstore began selling photocopies of textbooks two months ago after running into financial difficulties, Lee Hon-wah, head of the Customs Intellectual Property Investigation Bureau, was quoted as saying.
It was the first case in Hong Kong in which copied textbooks were directly sold to schools.
Authorities launched an investigation after receiving complaints from parents. They said the textbooks were of poor quality and the printing was sub-standard.
The textbooks were sold for HK$30 to HK$100 each. The bookstore made a HK$30 profit on a genuine HK$100 textbook which went up to HK$80 for a pirated copy, the report said.
The customs and excise department said schools should directly place orders with publishers in the future.
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