Software pirates have a new foe in the form of Marcus Chu, the industry's latest weapon in the fight against Asia's notorious and growing illegal trade. As the new software analyst consultant for the Software Piracy Association, Mr Chu works with the Customs and Excise Department to identify illegal products and provide expert testimony against alleged offenders in court. His duties, which frequently take him into the territory's arcades in search of pirated goods, often leave him feeling ill at ease as his biggest fear is being recognised during undercover investigations. 'They're my enemies,' he said of the shopkeepers. Mr Chu, an authorised technical examiner of association members' products, believed his knowledge of a wide range of software made him the ideal person for the job. 'It suits my interests. Because I like to play with software, this job is just perfect for me,' he said. Mr Chu has undergone intensive training since April, involving briefings by customs officials and software company managers. 'It's fun. Where else can you meet 12 different software companies all at one time?' he said. An essential part of the ongoing training is to learn the security features found in each company's products in order to identify fakes. 'I do get a lot of inside information,' he said. Before taking up his latest post, Mr Chu worked for two years as a system analyst for a trading and manufacturing firm in Hong Kong. He holds a degree in computer science from the California State University and has worked as an independent consultant for small firms in the United States, where the use of illegal software was relatively low. 'There, if you ask someone to buy software, they go to [licensed dealers]. In Hong Kong, they would think to go to an arcade.' Mr Chu wants to help put an end to piracy and also make known Hong Kong's efforts to infiltrate the illegal trade. 'I want to make the US Government recognise what customs has been doing. Putting us on the watch list is not that fair.'