A group of scanlators from China have been arrested in Japan for illegally distributing copyrighted materials online. This was a huge operation, as the police departments from Kyoto, Yamaguchi, Shizuoka, Mie, and Shimane Prefectures have banded together to arrest these manga pirates. They arrested five suspects, all of whom are from China.

The suspects were allegedly translating Yuki Ochimura ni Ojou-sama, the Maid-sama x Yuki wa Jigoku ni Ochiru no ka crossover manga, Kimi ni Todoke, and a Yu-Gi-Oh! manga into Chinese. They were also translating Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V Tag Force Special into Chinese as well.

Of the five arrested, two are cooperating with the police, and they are a female Nagoya University student and a female J. F. Oberlin University graduate student. The police aim to file copyright infringement cases for these five individuals.

According to police, the group has been operating since 2015 and  is composed of online volunteers. These volunteers met at online boards and either did translation or distribution. If convicted, they could face up to 10 years in prison, as well as up to 10 million yen in fines. And this doesn’t count the various lawsuits they could face from the companies legally distributing these titles.

This is the first time the police publicized arrests, which means that they are ramping up their anti-piracy campaign within Japan.

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