The US Customs Service and other federal and local law agencies announced this weekend that they had seized counterfeit version of Windows and other products worth over $100 million, the largest counterfeit software seizure in history. $60 million of the fake software was Windows and other Microsoft software, the agencies said.
"We intercepted the nerve \[center of the operation\]," said Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca. "This is like a drug cartel. This is like intercepting a drug cartel."
Three suspects were arrested in the raid, which followed an 18 month investigation. Microsoft says that the most disturbing thing about the whole affair is the high quality of the copies. According to Microsoft investigations manager Rich LaMagna, the faked copies of Windows Me and Windows 2000 that were seized are virtually identical to the real thing, except that the counterfeit versions lack CD holograms. A package of fake Windows XP manuals suggests that the pirates were gearing up to begin copying that software as well.