Police in the German city of Gelsenkirchen Essen, have seized 50,000 professionally pirated CDs and more than 200,000 inlay booklets, following a recent raid.

A complete workshop comprising several computers, CD burners and four professional high-output printers for producing the CD labels and inlays was also dicovered at the perpetrator's home.

The police action was carried out within the last 14 days, according to the German Federal Music Industry Association (BVMI), although news of the raid was not released until this week due to ongoing investigations into the case.

According to the BVMI, the success of the raid resulted from a collaboration between the Gelsenkirchen police and the Hamburg-based lawyer office ProMedia GmbH, whose services had been retained by the BVMI to handle the matter.

The BVMI refused to report about which artists had been pirated, but according to industry sources the 50,000 CDs were disco-mixes of predominantly German artists with an estimated retail value of the seized products is in excess of €750,000 ($1.1 million).

Berlin-based BVMI managing director Stefan Michalk said in a statement: "Alongside illegal downloading, organized piracy is one the most pressing problems facing the music industry. The loss caused by professional physical product piracy over the last five years is estimated to come to around 870 million euros [$1.3 billion]."

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