Police expand fight against piracy
Folha de S. Paulo, 24/04/2005
The pressure from the United States for Brazil to combat piracy resulted in more constant - and more recent - actions by the Civil and Federal police and the Federal Revenue Service, especially in São Paulo.
Since the beginning of the year, the Deic (Department of Investigations on Organized Crime) of the Civil Police has arrested 140 people who participated in the sale of fake products at the Stand Center, on Paulista Avenue, and at the Pajé Gallery, in downtown São Paulo.
On the 12th, Deic seized almost 26 counterfeit software and computers and CDs at the Stand Center. The police operation resulted in the arrest of 12 people. Another 8.000 CDs were seized three days later at the Stand Center and Promocenter, on Rua Augusta.
“This piracy and smuggling business is already comparable to drug trafficking,” says Ismael Rodrigues, chief delegate of the 1st DIG (Police Department of General Investigations) at Deic.
“Brazil is committed to fighting piracy and smuggling,” says Alessandro Moretti, head of the Federal Police station in Araraquara.
Federal and Civil Police inform that their actions would be more intense, and the fight against piracy and smuggling, more effective, if they had a greater number of police and more structure to carry out the investigations.
“We handle 9.000 police inquiries with only 22 police officers in the operational service,” says Fernando Duran Poch, chief delegate of the Federal Police in São Paulo's Police Department for the Suppression of Crime Crimes.
The Federal Revenue Service in São Paulo reports that it created a division two months ago to combat smuggling and embezzlement [clandestine trade]. This division will be formed by 60 people. “The operations will be set up to take the source [the distributors], not the point [the storekeepers]”, says Guilherme Adolfo dos Santos Mendes, deputy superintendent of the Federal Revenue in São Paulo.
The IRS informs that it cannot close the establishments that sell illegal products. “We cannot close stores due to tax evasion. STF [Supreme Federal Court] summary says that it is not permissible to interdict an establishment as a coercive means for collecting taxes ”, says Mendes.
Exit is to go to Justice
Whoever is the target of illegal trade informs that the only way to avoid losses due to loss of revenue is to seek support from the courts.
“Unfortunately, [being copied] is the price of success. Every week we are filing an injunction requesting the removal of fake goods from stores, ”says Ésber Hajli, owner of Diesel in Brazil, when referring to products sold in boxes at the Stand Center and Promocenter. The jeans of the Italian brand cost, on average, R $ 1.000. Counterfeits, a quarter of that amount. Two months ago, 30 copies of the brand's products were seized.
The Louis Vuitton brand, one of the most copied in the world, also goes to court against counterfeiters. Their original bags cost from R $ 2.000 to R $ 4.000. The false ones, R $ 150 to R $ 200.
“It is shameful, to say the least, that piracy occurs so wide open on Av. Paulista. In order to end this, it is necessary to go after the deposits and the manufacturers ”, says Márcio Gonçalves, coordinator of the anti-piracy group at Abes (Brazilian Association of Software Companies). Only at the beginning of this month, the police found, for the first time in the country, a factory in Santana de Parnaíba, which produced pirated CDs on a large scale. 80 copies were seized. (FF and CR)
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