PF articulates operation to combat piracy in the country


Source: Jornal de Brasília, 03/07/04

The government is preparing for August a mega-operation to combat piracy throughout the country. The action will involve the Federal Police (PF), the Federal Revenue Service, the state police and, in some regions, even the Armed Forces, announced the federal delegate Clóvis yesterday. da Silva Monteiro, president of the Interministerial Committee to Combat Piracy. The committee is based in the Ministry of Justice and has the participation of representatives of several public bodies.

In addition to the ostensible fight against smuggling and counterfeiting of products, Monteiro says that the government is developing other actions, such as educational campaigns in cinemas and airports, to guide the population on what is piracy.

According to Monteiro, the operation would not be related to the threat of the United States government to remove, within 90 days, the special tariff regime for Brazilian products, if the federal government does not intensify the fight against piracy. "We are not working under pressure," he said. Repressive actions against illegal trade, according to Monteiro, have been routine in the current government. He cites the Federal Police (PF) operations “Corsário” I, II and III, which have already removed more than 16 million counterfeit products from the consumer market.

Among the products seized by the PF are cigarettes, CDs, computer parts, pharmaceutical products, automotive parts and glasses. Cigarette counterfeiting, according to the Piracy CPI, occupies a prominent place in Brazil. There are 46 billion cigarettes sold on the illegal market, surpassing countries like Mexico (45 billion) and Argentina (35 billion).

In addition to the repression in the domestic market, Clóvis Monteiro said that the Brazilian government is planning joint actions to combat piracy on the border with the Mercosur countries. This will be possible, according to him, thanks to an agreement that has been signed since last year with representatives of these countries. Monteiro predicts that in the second half of the year, an action to combat piracy in the border region may be launched.

In March, during a meeting with President Lula, businessman Emerson Kapaz, from the Brazilian Institute of Ethics in Competition (ETCO), demanded of the government an energetic action to combat piracy. At the time, according to Kapaz, Lula determined to intensify the fight against illegal trade in Brazil.

A study by the ETCO Institute delivered to the government shows that illegal practices such as smuggling, counterfeiting and tax evasion cause a loss of R $ 160 billion annually to public coffers. According to Kapaz, piracy is "plastering" the Brazilian economy.