30 Arrested In Pirated DVD Bust

City police have arrested 30 suspects and confiscated 1 million pirated DVDs as part of a criminal investigation targeting a company registered in the U.S. state of Delaware, a police spokesman said Thursday.

Some 300 police officers tracked the suspects for several months and linked them to factories and warehouses in Moscow and the Moscow region, said Filipp Zolotnitksy, spokesman for city police's economic crimes department.

Police arrested 30 suspects over the past three days, several of whom have been charged with large-scale production and trafficking in pirated goods, punishable by up to six years in prison, Zolotnitsky said.

The company, which produced the master discs for the operation, is 95 percent owned by a company registered in Delaware in 2000, Zolotnitsky said. "The U.S. company founded a Russian legal entity, which in turn made the pirate master discs," he said.

None of the suspects is a U.S. citizen, he said.

Most of the illegal discs were marked with a Universal Pictures hologram, Zolotnitsky said. Around 70,000 discs were confiscated at the Savyolovsky market and 100,000 at the Luzhniki and Mitino markets, respectively, he said.

About 70 percent of CDs and DVDs on sale nationwide are counterfeit, according to a report released in May by the Higher School of Economics.