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Police bust Potter piracy scam

  • Story Highlights
  • Indian police seize hundreds of pirated copies of latest Harry Potter book
  • Police found around 4,000 covers of books, including by Rowling and Rushdie
  • Bangalore police estimate value of seized books and covers at around $99,000
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BANGALORE, India (Reuters) -- Indian police have seized hundreds of pirated copies of the seventh and final book in the Harry Potter series, a police official says.

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Harry Potter fans read the final book in the series just after buying it at a bookstore in Bangalore Saturday.

Cash tills around the world have been ringing as the eagerly awaited last installment of J.K. Rowling's boy-wizard series looks set to become the fastest-selling book ever.

Police said one man was arrested after officers raided a printing press, a storage depot and a private home in India's southern technology hub of Bangalore.

They also found around 4,000 covers of books, including by Rowling and Indian-born British author Salman Rushdie, in the raids on Sunday.

"The covers look like originals," said Deputy Commissioner of Bangalore police Alok Kumar. "They were being transported to Chennai, Mumbai and Kolkota."

Police suspect some of the covers and the pirated books were to be sent to neighboring Sri Lanka as well.

In India, many bookstores have reported customers snapping up "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" over the weekend, and media reports said publisher Bloomsbury and Indian distributor Penguin Books had begun an anti-piracy drive to coincide with its launch.

Pirated books by popular authors are often sold openly on the streets and in bookstores in India.

The Bangalore police estimate the value of the seized books and covers to be around to 4 million rupees ($99,000).

"Depending on concrete information, we will organize similar raids," Kumar added. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

Copyright 2007 Reuters. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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