Counterfeiting becomes an industry


Author: Fabrício Francis

Source: Jornal do Brasil, 08/11/2008

Civilian police officers from the Counterfeiting and Fraud Office (DEF) yesterday arrested eight people accused of counterfeiting alcoholic beverages in the cities of Gama and Ceilândia. The operation called Barley, the result of a complaint by the Brazilian Association to Combat Counterfeiting (ABCF), culminated in the seizure of more than seven thousand bottles of beer with counterfeit caps and labels and two more trucks of the Mercedes-Benz model 1113.

According to the chief delegate, Ivone Rosseto, the accused bought beers considered second-tier, for an average price of R $ 31 a box and, after adulterating the product, put labels and caps of more expensive beers, the box became be sold for R $ 52, on average.

- They prove Nova Skin and Glacial beers, removed their labels and added Skol and Antarctica brands. The labels were detached from the bottles, after being immersed in a water tank. The covers were collected in the street and in the bars of the region. They were concerned with quickly replacing the cap to avoid leaking all the product gas - he quoted.

Rosseto said that the police suspect new involvement, including from other cities in the DF.

- The operation doesn't end here. We are investigating new locations. We cannot say how many people are in our sights or where they are from, but we are investigating - he said.

Flagrant in collage

The police arrested Lidiane Maria Cerqueira Chaves, 31, in the city of Gama, when she was doing the job of gluing the labels. The delegate explained that the accused was hired by the group to carry out this work.

- She earned R $ 1,50 for each case of beer in which she could change the label - commented the delegate.

Ivone explained that there is no information that the liquid has also been tampered with.

- But, we believe that did not happen. Even because if the taste was modified they would not be able to sell the product - he said.

To press the covers, the criminals were careful to modify an industrial bench drill. They adapted some pieces in it and turned it into a press.

In addition to Lidiane, another member of the group was arrested in Gama, Hanses Ribeiro Gasel, 40, owner of the distributor responsible for selling the product in that region.

Rest of class

In the city of Ceilândia, where part of the gang also operated, brothers Robson de Paiva Moreira, 30 years old and Rodrigo de Paiva Moreira, owners of distributors Fênix and RPM, respectively, also responsible for the transfer of products in Ceilândia, were arrested. In addition to them, the gang members were assessed, Dione Mendes Fracássio, 28, Edimar Alves dos Santos, 32, Luciano Alves de Souza, 25, and Márcio França da Silva, 25.

The suspect of the delegate is that the group invoiced about R $ 7 thousand per month with the illegal practice.

The chief delegate of DEF explained that the penalty for adulteration of food products varies between 4 and 8 years in prison. In addition to being framed for adulteration, the criminals arrested in Ceilandia will also be responsible for the crime of forming a conspiracy, a penalty foreseen for 1 to 3 years of imprisonment. This is the second Barley Operation of the year. The first happened in January.