IFPI Press Release, February 2, 2001
London – February 2, 2001
Two Russian criminals were today jailed for 4 years and served a deportation order for their part in a massive credit card fraud and pirate CD ring.
The sentences handed down at London’s Southwark Crown Court were hailed by the international music industry, which sponsors the fight against CD piracy, as a hard-hitting example to the rest of the world.
Jay Berman, IFPI’s Chairman and CEO said, “Pirate CDs are a mainstream activity of international organised crime rings. The British courts have recognised this and responded in a way that is a lesson for governments and judiciaries the world over.”
David Martin, Director of Anti-Piracy at the BPI said, “This is just the kind of tough sentencing we need if the British record industry is going to remain one of our greatest assets”.
The two Russians had been involved in what the sentencing judge today called “a sophisticated, well organised and well-planned fraud”. Vladimir Stroguine and Alexander Tanov were involved in a massive Russian organised crime operation, with couriers on false passports smuggling supplies from St. Petersburg to a secret counterfeiting factory in North London.
The Judge today commended the police investigation, which had been put on the scent of hundreds of fake credit cards only after BPI and IFPI investigators uncovered the ring’s activities in supplying pirate CDs. “It was only by the courage and skill of investigators and police that you have been brought to justice”, Judge Jackson told the defendants in court.
IFPI and BPI today paid tribute to officers of the City of London Police Cheque and Credit Card Unit for their handling of the investigation.
IFPI heads the music industry’s fight against the fast-growing traffic in pirate CDs, now valued at more than $4 billion worldwide. The problem is closely linked to other forms of organised crime, including drugs, firearms and money laundering.
BPI is the national group for the recording industry in the UK and represents over 240 companies.
Russia has one of the world’s highest rates of music piracy, with more than 60% of all recordings sold illegally inside the country and large quantities of pirate exports going around Europe and elsewhere.
For further information contact:
Adrian Strain, Communications Director, IFPI, Tel. 0207 878 7939
Further information also available from:
The City of London Police Press Office, Tel. 020 7601 2220