Police have discovered a massive DVD copying factory in a raid on a house in Haringey.
Officers seized more than 50,000 films, including many not yet released in British cinemas. Dozens of DVD copiers and thousands of labels were also removed. Movies found included The Magic Roundabout, Are We There Yet? and Shall We Dance?
Sergeant Paul McGregor of Tottenham police station, who led the operation, said: "We estimate the copied DVDs have a street value of £250,000.
"We also found boxes and boxes of DVD labels and blank discs, all of which we think were imported from China in huge numbers." He said the haul was probably the tip of an iceberg.
"We believe the DVD trade has similarities with the selling of street cocaine - there are a few big players, but an awful lot of people working under them," he added.
"We are going after these people and expect to make more arrests soon."
It is thought the DVD factory was run by a Chinese crime syndicate. "This was a very well organised operation, and I've no doubt these DVDs were funding organised violent crime in London," said Sgt McGregor. Four people we re arrested in the raid, which was carried out with Haringey Council. They were first alerted by a street warden who noticed large amounts of DVD packaging outside the house. Ray Dodds, executive member for environment at Haringey, said: "Thanks to the vigilance of our street warden, we have successfully crushed this illegal operation."
The UK's £500 million-ayear DVD piracy industry is reported to be more profitable than the drugs trade.