LISBON: Officials in Portugal are investigating Benfica duo Armando Petit and Nuno Gomes after they were seen in a television report taking what appeared to be counterfeit films to a World Cup training camp, a daily newspaper reported yesterday.
A senior inspector with the culture ministrys Inspectorate-General for Cultural Activities (IGAC), which oversees the fight against music and movie piracy, told 24Horas the body would take action if justified despite the approaching Finals.
We are investigating the situation in juridical terms. Only after this is completed can we act. But if we have to act, we will act, said Julio Araujo Melo.
Striker Nuno Gomes told private television SIC in a report broadcast on Friday that he had brought several movies to the training camp held in Evora, some 150km southeast of Lisbon, including Basic Instinct II and Mission: Impossible III. Both movies have yet to be released on DVD.
Midfielder Petit meanwhile opened the trunk of his car to show the movies he was taking to the camp and a copy of The Producers, which also has not been released on DVD, could be seen among other unidentifiable films.
Under Portuguese law the manufacture and use of counterfeit movies or music can be punished with a prison sentence of up to three years but in most cases judges issue guilty parties fines.
Portuguese police seized a record 155,941 pirated CDs and DVDs last year following a rise in inspections and charged 450 people with crimes related to their sale and distribution, according to IGAC figures.
The widespread availability of pirated movies in Portugal is blamed for declining ticket sales at theatres, the closure of dozens of movie rental stores and a loss of millions of euros in tax revenues.
Portugal are pooled with Mexico, Iran and Angola in World Cup Group D with their first match against debutants Angola in Cologne, Germany, on June 11. AFP
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