BI nabs alleged manga pirate in the Philippines

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 10) — Manga, or Japanese comics, is a multi-billion dollar industry in Japan, and one of its top pirates has been caught in the Philippines.

The Bureau of Immigration on Tuesday announced that it has arrested a fugitive wanted by the Japanese government for infringement of copyright law.

The 28 year-old Romi Hoshino, also known as Zakay Romi, was arrested at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 on Sunday.

Hoshino is the alleged manager of a website called Manga-Mura, an illegal manga viewing website that was operational from 2016 to 2018.

Losses due to the website's copyright infringement is estimated at around ¥320 billion ($2.9 billion), according to the Association of Copyrights of Japan.

Hoshino was caught through the coordination of the Embassy of Japan in Manila with Philippine authorities.

“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," BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said in a statement.

Because Hoshino is a Japanese-German-Israeli, the government is coordinating with the embassies of Japan, Germany and Israel on his deportation. He is currently detained in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City.