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French Police raid Pirate Bollywood Store
19 February 2008

French police have raided a store in Paris that sold large amounts of counterfeit Bollywood music and films. The Thamilan Music Centre was located in a primarily Tamil neighbourhood of the city. One man was arrested during the raid and held in police custody.

Officers from the Police National Judiciaire raided the store on 13th February following a formal complaint from IFPI, which represents the recording industry worldwide. They seized an estimated 3,000 pirate CDs and more than 200,000 counterfeit DVDs manufactured in Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia.

Many of the CDs and DVDs seized contained Bollywood repertoire whose rights are owned by members of BPI, which represents the recording industry in the UK. Officials from IFPI and BPI were present during the raid and assisted with identifying the counterfeit product.

Len Hynds, Head of Enforcement at IFPI, says: “This raid was a great example of cooperation between the French police and rightsholders. We congratulate the Police National Judiciaire on taking firm action against a store that was flagrantly breaking the law by openly selling counterfeit products in the heart of Paris.

“Some criminals have the mistaken belief that if they smuggle and sell counterfeit CDs they will escape the attentions of the authorities who are only concerned with drug trafficking. In fact the authorities are very aware that the pirate music trade defrauds the public, evades taxes, costs jobs and denies artists an income from their work. That is why it is so important that police and rightsholders work together to combat it.”

David Wood, Manager of BPI’s Anti-Piracy Unit, adds: “Bollywood piracy is a growing problem throughout Europe. It is one that anti-piracy officers from the UK have a good track record of dealing with and we are sharing this expertise with law enforcement agencies across the continent. This has led to successful raids on organised criminal gangs in countries such as France and the Netherlands.”

Avtar Panesar, Vice President of International Operations at Yash Raj Films International Ltd, one of the companies whose movies were being counterfeited, says: “This is a great result in Paris and a classic case of cooperation and coordination between the firms hit by piracy, the authorities and industry anti-piracy experts. We thank all concerned for their tireless work against these organised criminals whose activities hit all film and record producers.”

Dilip Chudasma from Eros International Ltd, another company whose films were being counterfeited, adds: “This was excellent work from the French police as well as BPI and IFPI. We are glad the French authorities take such damaging organised criminal activity seriously and will assist them in their enquiries in any way we can.”

For further information please contact Adrian Strain or Alex Jacob
Tel. +44 (0)20 7878 7939 / 7940

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