CUSTOMS investigators teamed up with computer giant Intel to bust a syndicate churning out thousands of counterfeit chips, it was revealed yesterday. Officers from the Intellectual Property Investigation Bureau raided five commercial premises in Kowloon Bay on Monday, uncovering an illegal factory and 4,887 forged chips worth $5.3 million - the biggest seizure of its kind in the territory. Eight people were arrested in the operation, the third in eight months, all following tip-offs and information supplied by Intel, which has a regional office in Hong Kong. Bureau head Calvin Leung Ho said: 'We were tipped off by Intel, who use private investigators to get information on these counterfeiting syndicates. They alerted us to these addresses. 'We have been investigating this case for about a week. We welcome the help of trademark owners. We could not do it without their expertise.' The chips, which were of inferior quality, had their original markings removed and replaced with the Intel Pentium trademark, as well as false, enhanced processing speeds. Customs believe the chips were destined for the mainland. Intel, the world's largest chip-maker, is determined to step up its covert war on chip syndicates, with the Asia Pacific region being the worst for counterfeiting its trademarks. Its spokesman Lulu Tsao Sing-yee said: 'We anticipate many more seizures in Hong Kong. At the moment we are targeting Hong Kong, Taiwan and China. 'By being in the industry, we hear and find out quite a lot.' Ms Tsao also warned that illegal chips could seriously damage computers, if processing speeds were 'out of specification' with hardware.