Paraguay - major street and laboratory raids
29th October 2007
On 18th October , the Specialized Anti-Piracy Unit (UTE) in Paraguay executed a major operation in Ciudad del Este, Paraguay in the infamous pirate market of Paseo San Blas. 52 points of sale were targeted which resulted in the seizure of 67,503 music CD-Rs and 123,301 film DVDs and almost one million jewel boxes. In addition, authorities also seized in the same area, earlier in the day, a full-scale replicating lab with 214 active burners and more than 14,000 CD-Rs.
These locations were investigated as part of a programme developed with Interpol to curb piracy in the tri-border area. According to intelligence developed under this programme, it is believed that the seized lab belongs to an individual who is one of the leading suppliers of illegal music and film products sold to the smuggling groups who regularly send goods into Brazil from Ciudad del Este, Paraguay.
The operation involved a major coordination effort by the UTE as authorities brought enforcement personnel from the capital city of Asuncion to avoid the risk of leaks. In addition, the UTE had to overcome some judicial opposition to the lab raid.
The “Paseo San Blas” is the renovated pedestrian open mall area located at the foot of the Friendship Bridge, which separates Ciudad del Este from Brazil’s Foz de Iguacu. The Paseo San Blas has now approximately 235 points of sale with another 250 points scheduled to open next year. Paraguay has an anti-piracy enforcement programme with a specialised team focused on major laboratories and warehouses, however, it has failed to take appropriate action against retailers and street hawkers that on average hold inventory of over 1 million pirate units of films and music available for sale to mostly Brazilian tourists and smugglers.
IFPI Latin America congratulated the UTE and the Paraguayan authorities for this operation.For further information contact:
Emilio Garcia, IFPI Latin America
Jennifer Denhard, MPAA