Brazilian authorities have arrested Law Kim Chong, described as the country's "most notorious pirate." Law was apprehended June 1 by Brazilian police as he attempted to bribe the chairman of the count
LONDON -- Brazilian authorities have arrested Law Kim Chong, described as the country's "most notorious pirate."
Law was apprehended June 1 by Brazilian police as he attempted to bribe the chairman of the country's Congressional Anti-Piracy Committee (CPI), Luiz Antonio de Medeiros. The arrest followed a two-month investigation by the CPI, which was formed in 2003.
Law was caught as he was offering de Medeiros a sum believed to be between $1 million and $2.3 million, in return for a favorable CPI report on his business.
Law has been charged with active corruption and put in custody. All his activities in Brazil are currently subject to a criminal investigation.
Law is Chinese by birth but has been living in Brazil for 20 years and is a nationalized Brazilian.
In a public statement, de Medeiros says, "The (bribery) money came from smuggling, from piracy and from unpaid taxes. Money that should be used in public health and education -- not in corruption."
According to the Brazilian anti-piracy unit of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), Law owns several popular shopping centers in Brazil that consist mostly of small outlets, rented to immigrants, that are famous for smuggling products. The IFPI also suspects Law of owning several plants in China that produce pirated product, including music CDs.
According to the IFPI, piracy has reached new heights in Brazil in the past five years. The trade group estimates that pirated product accounted for 53% of the Brazilian CD market in 2002, vs. 5% in 1997.