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BI arrests one of Japan's most wanted for copyright infringement


The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Tuesday said it has arrested a fugitive who is said to be one of Japan's most wanted for copyright infringement.

Romi Hoshino alias Zakay Romi, a Japanese-German-Israeli fugitive, was arrested at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 last Sunday, the bureau said in a press release.

The BI said Hoshino, 28, manages "Manga-Mura," allegedly an illegal viewing website of Japanese comics or graphic novels, popularly known as manga, that operated from January 2016 to April 2018.

In what is said to be the worst violation of Japan's copyright law, Manga-Mura's operation allegedly cost 320 billion yen or US$2.9 billion in damages, the bureau reported, citing Japanese authorities.

The BI said Hoshino was arrested on the strength of a mission order issued following the request of the Japanese Embassy in Manila for help in locating and arresting the wanted man. Philippine agents coordinated with Tokyo Interpol in the operations, the bureau said.

Hoshino is detained at the BI detention facility in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City, as he awaits deportation.

"His presence in the country is a risk to public safety and security," Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said in the release.

"We are in close coordination with our foreign counterparts who send us information about criminals who might be hiding in the Philippines. Upon knowledge, we immediately seek, arrest and deport these fugitives." —KBK, GMA News