Spanish piracy crackdown yields 32 arrests

Value of pirated material about $3 mil

MADRID -- In what Spanish national police are calling "the biggest action against pirating in the past several years," agents arrested 32 Chinese nationals and seized 300,000 illegally copied CDs and DVDs on Wednesday.

Police estimated the street value of the pirated material, of which more than half were recently released films, at about 2 million euros ($3.1 million).

The operation, which took place in cities throughout Spain and followed a four-month investigation, discovered 40 recording towers, with 506 slots for recording illegal CDs and some 406,000 virgin discs ready for recording.

The "master" copy of the pirated movies -- some titles presently in theaters in Spain -- were primarily obtained from filming in theaters.

Police said that the ring also was linked to human trafficking of Chinese citizens, binding illegal immigrants in "semi-slavery."

According to police, the factory produced some 150,000 pirated discs daily.