Russian authorities charged Igor Gusev, also known by his handle Desp, of running pharmaceutical spam operation Canadian Pharmacy, itselfpart of the major unlicensed drugs operation GlavMed. Gusev himselfwas not arrested, he is believed to be on the run, but police did raidhis Moscow home last Tuesday and a court case is underway. Gusev himself also ran spamit.com, a website which provided design and orderfulfillment services.
That site closed last month as part of thefall-out surrounding the arrest of another Russian spammer LeonidKuvaev, also known as BadCow.Spam itself is not specifically prohibited by Russian law, althoughusing others’ resources to send without their permission is. On thiscase however, Gusev faces charges of operating a business withoutproper registration. Authorities were also forced to employ analternative tactic when targeting Kuvaev; in that case he was chargedfor an unrelated crime, namely sex with minors.Many observers interpret Desp’s arrest so quickly after Kuvaev’s as asign that authorities are cracking down in spammer sin the RussianFederation.
This may well be the case, although it is worth notingthat Kuvaev’ arrest followed cooperation with Microsoft investigators,and so could also be interpreted as a sign of increased cooperationwith major firms, with themselves are taking investigations of thosecausing them damages into their own hands. Gusev's arrest alsofollowed a meeting in the White House to discuss spam. Media coverageof the event specifically mentioned Glavmed and its rival operationRx-Promotions.
The latter operation, Rx-Promotions, is not a target of the currentoperation, and assuming that legal action against its leadership isnot forthcoming, Rx-Promotions benefits from the destruction o fitsrival. Assuming that authorities do not move next against that group,Rx-Promotions benefits from the case against Desp. Not only doauthorities already appear to be cracking down on infamous spammers,without going after Rx-Promotions, a major competitor is out of the picture and the ongoing price war and increased acceptance of risks tosteal away affiliates is no longer necessary.