Ten people across five countries in Europe were arrested for putting illegal copies of movies and television series on the internet.
According to an Associated Press report, five of the arrests were made in Belgium and resulted in charges of computer fraud, hacking and being members of a criminal organisation.
The Belgian computer crime unit led the raids that fanned out over 12 countries, including Britain, Germany, France and Sweden.
Police shut down 48 servers which distributed illegal material online, according to police spokesperson Tine Hollevoet.
The suspects were aged between 25 and 30 and were not pirating movies for their own financial gain, according to investigator Olivier Bogaert.
“They have the notion that all has to be free,” Bogaert said.
Swedish police raided seven locations, including PRQ, an internet service provider which has links to one of the world’s largest file-sharing sites, The Pirate Bay, and WikiLeaks, a site dedicated to distributing information from whistle-blowers.
However, Swedish police have said the raid against PRQ had nothing to do “either with The Pirate Bay or with WikiLeaks.”