By Peter Staunton in Cuiaba
Brazilian authorities seized 987 pieces of counterfeit World Cup goods at a shopping centre in Cuiaba on Wednesday.
Shirts, shoes, hats and other merchandise displaying Fifa, Adidas or World Cup logos were seized and eight stall-holders answered questions relating to the investigation before being released. Also taken for examination were electronics, laptops and handbags as well as pirated CDs and DVDs.
The Delegacia Especializada do Consumidor [Decon] and the Civil Judicial Police of Mato Grosso swooped on Shopping Popular Varzea Grande as part of Operation Maculan, which targets manufacturers, distributors and sellers of illegal products. The operation is currently monitoring World Cup and Fifa trademarks and patents in Cuiaba, Mato Grosso's capital and site of four World Cup group stage matches.
"We made a previous survey of these stalls and when we got there we found goods with the World Cup brand," Decon delegate Ana Cristina Feldner told the local press.
The stall owners were questioned under Article 66 of the Consumer Code. Punishments for breaching trademark regulations as stipulated in the General Law of the World Cup range from three months to one year in prison and a fine.
Efforts were made in May to make retailers aware of the risks of carrying illegal goods when preventative guidance was issued. "We will try to identify the suppliers of the products seized, and will monitor [to see] if the owners continue selling these infringing products," Feldner said.