Minister swears in council and promises action against piracy


By Vannildo Mendes, O Estado de S. Paulo - 25/11/2004

BRASÍLIA - The federal government will use police, intelligence and inspection resources in a program to combat the production, distribution and sale of counterfeit products in the country. The information was given yesterday by the Minister of Justice, Márcio Thomaz Bastos, when the Council was installed. National Committee to Combat Piracy and Crimes against Property, which will have representatives from seven ministries, the National Congress, the Federal and Highway Police and civil society.
Piracy, according to the first data collected by the government, generates around R $ 56 billion in the country, mainly in the sectors of tobacco, beverages, fuels and audiovisual, especially CDs. The crime, which spread throughout the national territory and established connections with Mercosur, particularly Paraguay, it eliminated 2 million formal jobs and has caused an annual loss of R $ 8,4 billion in tax collection. "With intelligence, planning and articulated operation, we will win this war," said Bastos.

It will be up to the council to develop the guidelines of the national plan, to be launched in early 2005, for the prevention and repression of mafias that exploit piracy. The government's determination is to close stores that sell pirated products and to arrest smugglers and businessmen who exploit the sector.

The government's guidance is to make an exception for the millions of street vendors and small traders who, through misinformation or lack of means of subsistence, sell counterfeit products at retail. The president of the Brazilian Institute of Ethics in Competition (Etco), Emerson Kapaz, one of the creators of the campaign and member of the board, informed that forms of compensation will be defined for the social problem that will be created with the removal of pirated products from circulation.

One of them is the recycling of street vendors and the adoption of a regional development plan, to be proposed by the council, aimed at absorbing the affected labor force in areas affected by the repression.