Officers from a joint Met and HMRC taskforce have arrested three London men behind a copyright-infringing website what allowed people to download “blockbuster films and top-rated TV shows”.
The trio, all in their 20’s, have been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud and copyright theft.
The arrests were made by the London Regional Asset Recovery Team (LRART), who have been assisted in their investigation by the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT).
Police say the website was originally registered to one of the suspects in the UK but was then re-registered to the second suspect at an address in Romania. It’s believed money made from advertising on the website was paid into a London-based bank account.
Investigating officer, Detective Sergeant Neil Reynolds, of LRART, said: “The site was extremely popular.
“It was viewed about 70,000 times a day and, internationally, it ranked thousands of places higher than a well-known and legitimate film download site.
“It can be difficult for people to care about copyright laws being broken but the money made from such sites is often spent on funding other crime.
“We are looking at how much money was made from advertising on this website and where that money went to.”
Kieron Sharp, Director General, FACT, added: “Websites which set out to direct users to illegal copies of films and TV shows are engaged in criminal activity which not only reaps huge financial benefits for the individuals involved but also undermines the fundamental business model which allows for future investment in the creative industries.
“As these latest arrests show, this type of criminal enterprise will not go without action, and those involved face severe penalties.”