London, May 24, 2002 – Spanish police (Guardia Civil) have launched Western Europe´s biggest ever crackdown on blank CD-R discs, which were largely to have been used in the production of pirated music.
In a series of raids in late May, Spanish police dismantled a network involved in the illegal production and distribution of blank CD-Rs. A massive 1,725,000 blank
CD-Rs, mainly destined for the pirate market, were seized along with industrial production machinery, software and extensive documentation.
Spanish Guardia Civil carried out the operation in collaboration with IFPI and the Spanish recording industry association and IFPI national group AFYVE. The action was warmly welcomed by the recording industry, which is facing a steep rise in CD-R piracy worldwide.
The raids follow from investigations earlier in the year, when the Spanish Guardia Civil put out of action a network involved in illegal copying of CD-Rs. The discs, manufactured in a clandestine plant, led to arrests and the seizure of nearly 5,000 pirated music CDs and 66 burners. Further analysis confirmed that most of the seized discs were produced in plants in the Aragón and Cataluña regions, for their later distribution by a Madrid-based company.
In the latest action, police simultaneously raided two companies suspected of involvement in distribution, and three plants engaged in the illegal manufacturing of CD-Rs without the authorisation of the patent owner.
Music piracy in Spain has risen alarmingly to over 30% over the past few years, largely fuelled by the explosion in CD-R piracy. Organised criminal gangs involved in music piracy are producing millions of CD-Rs containing infringing music and using "blanket men", largely illegal immigrants, to sell them on the streets of Spain.
For further information contact: Fiona Harley, IFPI, tel: +44 (0)20 7878 7900