Italy: Anti-mafia investigation hits major pirate ring
Italy, 30th November 2009
The anti-mafia District Attorney office (DDA) in Naples last week arrested more than 40 suspects at the conclusion of a three-year investigation into the counterfeiting of copyright protected goods by a major local mafia ring.
The investigation was initiated by Fiscal Police (GdF) from Naples and Rome in 2006 after a seizure of pirated CD-Rs and DVD-Rs near Rome. During the following three years the GdF dismantled 32 illegal CD burning laboratories, seizing 2,300 CD burners, arresting 121 people and prosecuting 173 individuals for copyright law infringement.
The operation led to the seizure of more than one million CDs/DVDs containing music and movies as well as three million inlay cards. The Attorney's Office has also ordered the confiscation of more than €20 million worth of the mafia organisation's assets. The investigation once again proved the link between film and music piracy and organised crime. The massive production and distribution of the counterfeit goods were managed by two of the most well-known mafia gangs in the Naples area.
As the two gangs fought for control of the pirate goods market two people were killed and several wounded.
The blank CD-Rs, imported from China, were marked with the initials of the head of the organisation.
After raids led to the arrest of key people involved in the gang, including the head of the organisation, investigators uncovered new management of the criminal enterprise under the control of several wives of the main board members of the clan who were now secured in jail.
The anti-piracy unit of the authors' society SIAE assisted the GdF during the operation.
According to Domenico Lepore, the Naples Public Prosecutor, the entire annual turnover of the organisation was between €20-€25 million.
For further information contact:
Alex Jacob, IFPI London
Tel: +44 (0)20 7878 7940 or email: email@example.com