In the first-ever Iberian joint anti-piracy operation, Spanish and Portuguese police have broken up three crime rings which manufactured and sold illegal CDs in both countries.

In the first-ever Iberian anti-piracy operation, Spanish and Portuguese police have broken up three crime rings which manufactured and sold illegal CDs in both countries.

Police arrested 31 people in 11 recent raids in Madrid, the north-west region of Galicia bordering Portugal, and in northern Portugal. Officials say the gangs produced up to 20,000 illicit CDs each day to sell in Galician cities such as Ourense and Vigo, and in street markets and fairs on both sides of the border.

Replication equipment worth €500,000 ($615,000) was also seized.

Police say the investigation began in March following a noticeable increase in illicit CD street sales.

The joint-investigation was carried out by the Portuguese culture ministry, the IFPI and the countries' respective labels' bodies -- Spain's Promusicae (formerly Afyve) and the Portuguese Phonographic Assn.

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