Germany's Federation Against Copyright Theft (GVU) has carried out the world's biggest ever anti-piracy operation.

800 apartments, company premises and computer centres were raided in Munich, Frankfurt/Main, Bremen, Cologne and the Ruhr region on March 16 and 18.

After two years of investigation, the GVU said it had exposed the activities of two groups behind the illegal production and distribution of German versions of films such as The Lord Of The Rings, Finding Nemo, The Passion Of The Christ, and Cheaper By The Dozen (which 20th Fox Century is releasing in Germany next week) as well as the latest games software. The loss for the entertainment industry was estimated at millions of Euros in the high double digits.

The investigators seized nineteen Internet servers with 38 terabytes of memory to hold bootlegged films and software programmes, over 40,000 data carriers and more than 200 computer systems.