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Thursday, 24 January 2008

Organised gang smuggled music , films believed to be produced in Russia and Ukraine as well as producing their own counterfeit discs.

Polish border police arrested eight people involved in the smuggling and manufacture of pirate CDs and DVDs in a raid carried out on 16th January. Officers also seized illegal firearms, including handguns, a machine gun and a sawn-off shotgun; contraband cigarettes and tobacco; as well as € 50,000 in cash.

The border police from the region of Klodzko smashed the organised gang who both smuggled music and films believed to be produced in Russia and Ukraine as well as producing their own counterfeit discs. The pirate CDs and DVDs were destined for the German market.
During the raid some 66,000 CDs, DVDs, CD-Rs and DVD-Rs and 108,000 inlay cards were seized along with counterfeit inlays and packaging. The discs contained a mixture of German and international repertoire. Officers secured the secret laboratory used for the illegal reproduction of discs which contained computers, two tower burners and two high-quality printers.
Four of the eight suspects arrested, including the one German citizen, were remanded in custody for three months. The other four suspects were released. The investigation continues.
The case highlights the value of a partnership approach between the public and private sector and the close and professional working relationship of the ZPAV, which represents the Polish recording industry, and IFPI, which represents the recording industry worldwide. A representative of FOTA, which represents the film industry in Poland, was also present during the raid to determine the legitimacy of the seized discs.
Len Hynds, Head of Enforcement at IFPI, says: “These raids clearly show that music and film piracy in Poland is tightly controlled by organised criminal gangs with an international reach. The Polish border police have done a fantastic job in breaking up this gang, but we are aware that there are others out there that we need to tackle.
“It is also self-evident that these gangs do not limit their activities to music and film. Evidence gathered suggests links to tobacco and illegal drug smuggling as well as people trafficking. It is to be hoped that when the case comes to court the authorities issue deterrent sentences to help tackle this ongoing problem.”


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