Thiruvananthapuram: The anti-piracy cell of the state police has made a breakthrough cracking a gang pirating new South Indian movies and uploading them on notorious film piracy sites like Tamilrockers.
The police held five youngsters hailing from Tamil Nadu for piracy based on some ads appeared on these sites. They were found to have earned over Rs 1 crore through piracy over the last few years.
They used to upload new movies on 19 domains including, tamilrockers.in, tamilrockers.ac, tamilrockers.me, tamilrockers.co, tamilrockers.is, tamilrockers.us and tamilrockers.ro.
Pranav Mohanlal's Aadhi was among their latest victims.
Those arrested were Villupuram native Karthi, 24, his accomplice Suresh, 24, TNRockers owner Prabhu, 24, DVD Rockers owner Tirunelveli native Johnson and his accomplice Maria John, 22.
Karthi and his accomplice made Rs 1 crore from hits, while others received up to Rs 75 lakh. The average monthly income of a gang member was found to be in the range of Rs 1 to 2 lakh, police sources said.
Anti-piracy cell SP B. K. Prasanthan Kani, who headed the team that cracked the gang, said that a lead about them came from a Haryana based advertising firm that used to canvas ads for popular websites.
The firm had sent an email with an offer to a person who was earlier held by the anti-piracy cell for pirating a Malayalam film. It led the police to the racket.
"All the gang members were technically qualified. It even included MSc and BSc holders in computer science. They used to record movies in pieces from various parts of the world and join it. We are trying to trace more members of the gang including Karthi’s brothers," said Mr Prasanathan.
TN Rockers was found to be working from Villupuram and DVD Rockers from Tirunelveli. Laptops, hard disks and other gadgets used for piracy were recovered from them. They were brought to Thiruvananthapuram and produced before a local court here and remanded to judicial custody.