Police in Luxembourg have made the largest-ever seizure of pirate CDs in Europe, uncovering what is thought to be a huge, international illegal bootlegging ring...
Luxembourg police, assisted by anti-piracy personnel from the international recording industry, raided two warehouses and report having seized around one million infringing CDs, with an estimated value of over ten million Euros at pirate prices.
The CDs are mainly bootlegs of international artists' live performances including The Beatles, Bruce Springsteen, Guns N' Roses, Pink Floyd, REM, Rolling Stones and U2.
The raids, carried out on November 20, followed information passed on to police by IFPI investigators.
Police arrested a Dutch national who is resident in Luxembourg. He has been released pending further enquiries.
Iain Grant, IFPI's Head of Enforcement said: "We believe the investigation has uncovered a major source of illegal bootlegs supplying not just Europe, but many other parts of the world. We are grateful to the police in Luxembourg for all their assistance in cracking this case."
Francois Ewen, Chief Superintendent of Luxembourg police said: "This is a most significant investigation, which is in its early stages. We will be looking at the international aspects of the enquiry."
The Luxembourg seizure reflects the growing scale of the music pirate trade in Europe and the sharpening of enforcement authorities against it. Figures recently published by the European Commission show that seizures of pirate discs at the EU's external borders soared by 349% to more than 40 million units in 2001.
Music piracy is a huge multi-billion dollar international business, and pirate CDs are estimated to account for nearly half of the European Union's estimated 2 billion Euro pirate and counterfeiting business.