Microsoft says La Familia drug cartel is selling bootleg Office software


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La Familia drug cartel is selling not just drugs, but also counterfeit Microsoft Office computer software, according the Redmond, Wash., tech giant.

Microsoft showed off unauthorized copies of its Office 2007 software in Paris today which the company said it found for sale in Mexico. The pirated copies of Office were marked with La Familia cartel’s rectangular ‘FMM’ logo that the Microsoft says proves the link between the counterfeiting and the organized crime group, according to a Bloomberg report.


‘This is the real side, the scary side of counterfeiting and it plagues the world,’ said David Finn, Microsoft’s associate general counsel for anti-piracy, according to Bloomberg.

Finn displayed the bootleg Microsoft software Friday at the Global Congress on Combating Counterfeiting and Piracy, the report said.

The International Chamber of Commerce said at the Paris event that, in the 20 nations that make up the G-20, the value of counterfeit and pirated goods was an estimated $650 million in 2008, according to Bloomberg.

That number is expected to rise to about $1.77 trillion by 2015, the report said.

Finn, Microsoft’s attorney, wrote in a company blog post that, according to an analysis by Mexico’s attorney general, drug cartels in Mexico have a ‘sophisticated distribution network of 180,000 points of sale in stores, markets and kiosks, earning more than $2.2 million dollars in revenue every day.’

John Newton of the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) said organized crime groups were attracted to counterfeit goods because they are ‘low-risk, high-profit crimes,’ Bloomberg said.



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-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles