German police last month seized near here the largest underground pirate CD plant to be found in Europe, reported the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI). Raids on the plant near Cologne on Sept. 12 uncovered CD manufacturing equipment with an estimated production capacity of more than 1 million illegal CDs a year, with a sales value of over 15 million Euros.
The plant was producing CDs by top international artists, as well as German repertoire and pirate compilation albums for the Dutch market. Pirate bootleg copies of the recent Madonna "Drowned World" tour were found at the site. The plant, consisting of two CD manufacturing lines, was being covertly operated by a music company, details of which cannot presently be released, the association said.
One man was arrested in Germany and two arrests were made in the Netherlands. Police are continuing their investigations. The raids were the culmination of a joint anti-piracy operation involving the German police, IFPI and its affiliate national group in Germany and the Dutch criminal investigation department BumaStemra. IFPI's anti-piracy team of 50 investigators works with enforcement agencies and governments around the world.