Piracy: 92 prisoners with R $ 1,5 million in products


By Rita Magalhães, Jornal da Tarde - 04/03/2005

At least R $ 1,5 million in CDs, DVDs, sneakers and counterfeit T-shirts and electronics and smuggled cigarettes from Paraguay, among other products, were seized in the last 45 days by the Piracy Combat Department of the Organized Crime Investigations Department ( Deic).
In these operations carried out without fanfare, since taking office at the police station on December 1, 2004, delegate Ismael Rodrigues has arrested 92 people for crimes of smuggling, embezzlement and copyright infringement.

Between the night before yesterday and yesterday morning, 12 street vendors - including two under 17 - were arrested with about 4.000 pieces of pirated CDs and DVDs. In January, 17 people - including the piracy leader at the scene, Chinese Ting Kuang Chu - were arrested at the Stand Center, a mall on Avenida Paulista, selling counterfeit goods.

The night before yesterday, the first detainee was street vendor Arismar de Souza Silva. He was picked up at Praça da República, shortly after receiving a batch of 929 pieces of CDs and DVDs. The police arrived in Arismar after an informant reported the entire distribution scheme for pirated products in the region of 25 de Março and the escape route of the street vendors. According to the complaint, every time a car featured by the Civil Police approaches the 25 de Março region, scouts communicate with pirated CD and DVD sellers. They wrap the goods and run to two bars in the region - one at Rua Barão de Duprat, 369, and the other at Afonso Kherlakian, 179. Because of this way of acting of the street vendors, the police action was called Operation Ratoeira.

With the addresses of hiding places in hand, the police had no difficulty. As soon as the street vendors noticed the movement of plainclothes police in the region, they ran to the bars. Then, the investigators closed the exits of the establishments and made the other 11 flagrant.

In Rodrigues' opinion, prison is the only way to end piracy. “When street vendors are indicted in investigations, but remain at liberty, they do not feel the severity of the punishment. Prison, of course, scares and prevents crime. It makes the street vendor think a little more about the risk he is going to take. ”

Penalty varies from 2 to 4 years in prison

The Brazilian Penal Code provides for a sentence of 2 to 4 years in prison for those convicted of the crime of copyright infringement. For smugglers, the penalty varies from 1 to 4 years in prison.

Deic's director, Godofredo Bittencourt, praised Rodrigues' work. He said the police station will continue to carry out operations like the one promoted in November, when the police closed Galeria Pajé and seized R $ 10 million in merchandise.