The New York Police Department on May 11 raided a basement in lower Manhattan, seizing nearly 49,000 DVDs and 38,000 CDs, and arresting one Ohio and two New York area residents, the Motion Picture Ass

The New York Police Department on May 11 raided a basement in lower Manhattan, seizing nearly 49,000 DVDs and 38,000 CDs, and arresting one Ohio and two New York area residents, the Motion Picture Assn. of America announced today (May 18).

“We are rooting out these DVD thieves one by one and tracking their networks in order to shut down illegal DVD and CD pirate operations,” said James W. Spertus, VP and director of the MPAA’s U.S. anti-piracy operations. “The New York Police Department has been instrumental and vigilant in pursuit of these thieves and we appreciate their continued effort. These arrests will send a signal that such crimes will not be tolerated in the New York area.”

Aboulaye Diallo, 39, Mamadow Sow, 36, and Schilles Jean, 33, were arrested and charged with violating New York’s True Name and Address statute, which makes the failure to disclose the origin of a recording or audiovisual work unlawful.

During the investigation by MPAA investigators and local police, the NYPD’s 1st Precinct Peddler Unit contacted the Legal Bureau to request a nuisance abatement order for the location. This is a method employed by the NYPD to padlock the location and inhibit the subjects from returning at a later date.

A Smith Barney study estimated that this year alone, the movie industry has lost $5.4 billion to piracy, the MPAA said in a statement. Working with law enforcement around the world, the MPAA seized over 76 million illegal optical discs in 2004.

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