Private detectives are being sent to bars and clubs across Hong Kong under a crackdown on pay-television piracy in the build-up to tomorrow's live broadcast of the English FA Cup soccer final. About 300 bars have been issued with 'cease and desist letters' as part of a continuing campaign to stamp out piracy and the illegal screening of pay-TV services. The move comes as huge crowds are expected to turn out at popular venues for the screening of the final between Premier League giants Manchester United and First Division Milwall. 'We have issued letters of warning telling bar owners of the potential consequences if they continue to steal the service,' said Simon Twiston-Davies, the chief executive of the Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia, which will deploy the detectives. 'Bars that distribute signals they have not paid for are open to prosecution of varying kinds, and all this can impact on their liquor licence.' Mr Twiston-Davies said private investigators had been sent out to collect evidence on the scale of the problem. Last year, the total cost of pay-TV piracy was estimated at $210 million, he said.