Four pirate CD traders have been convicted for involvement in a £5 million ($10 million) operation that imported copyright-infringing urban music compilations into the United Kingdom from the Czech Republic.

Labels body the BPI estimates that several hundred thousand CDs were brought into the country and sold in shops and market stalls across South East England. The BPI and IFPI both issued statements welcoming the outcome at Snaresbrook Crown Court in Essex, east of London, where all four defendants were found guilty of conspiring to defraud the music industry.

The case was brought by the state's Fraud Prosecution Service, which was supplied with information by the BPI and IFPI.

Two defendants, Wasim Mir and Ayaz Qureshi, had pleaded guilty in January. Today (March 7) a jury found the remaining two defendants -- Farhat Nissa and Mohammed Shaikh -- guilty of the offences following an eight-week trial.

The court heard that Nissa's Hatfield, Hertfordshire-based company SFH was commissioned by market trader Wasim Mir and others to import the unlicensed compilations. Mir admitted supplying market stalls and shops throughout the South East.

The BPI made a test purchase of and IFPI's forensic facilities allowed investigators to pinpoint the source of the discs to a manufacturing plant in the Czech Republic, whose operators helped identify the U.K. traders. Mir was arrested and police raided his storage facilities, where 25,000 copyright-infringing discs were recovered.

The BPI estimates that more than 400,000 sets containing between two and five CDs -- some also including DVDs -- retailing for an average of £12 ($24) a title, had been imported during the fraud. The conspirators now face an application for their assets under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

"These types of counterfeits can fetch significant sums, but none of those involved in creating the music received a penny for their work," said BPI Director of anti-piracy David Wood, who ran the U.K. investigation, in a statement. "We're delighted the FPS chose to take on this case and hope that this successful outcome will serve as a deterrent to others. Brokers have a responsibility to ensure that they only deal in legitimate product and that they take precautions to ensure that they do so."

IFPI's Head of Enforcement, Len Hynds, adds: "This was a sophisticated criminal conspiracy of international proportions. Essentially this case was cracked through cooperation between the industry bodies and law enforcement in the U.K. and Czech Republic."