Indian-Origin Men Charged over Operating International Piracy RingTop Stories

December 15, 2018 10:55
Indian-Origin Men Charged over Operating International Piracy Ring

(Image source from: Variety)

Two Indian-origin men, among five, accused of running an international movie piracy ring were indicted on Wednesday on federal charges for involving in hacking Hollywood film company computer systems to steal unreleased movies and television shows such as "Fifty Shades of Grey" and "The Walking Dead."

According to federal prosecutors, the group would alter the properties of the computer files to make them easier to distribute online and either offer them for sale or upload them onto pirate movie websites. They are accused of selling access to the stolen films via PayPal as part of the scheme, which lasted from 2013 to 2015.

It is not clear how many or which film companies were targeted.

The men - Malik Luqman Farooq, Aditya Raj, Sam Nhance, Ghobhirajah Selvarajah, and Jitesh Jadhav - face seven counts, including conspiracy to commit computer fraud, unauthorized access to a computer, aggravated identity theft and copyright infringement, according to the United States attorney’s office.

Authorities suspect the men are based in four countries: the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, and India. Farooq, 30, is the only one who has been arrested and He is awaiting trial in London on related charges.

Authorities said Jadhav used a camcorder to film movies such as "The Amazing Spider-Man 2," "X-Men: Days of Future Past" and "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" that later were sold by other members of the ring.

The indictment alleges Farooq sold more than a dozen stolen films, while Raj released pirated movies online. Selvarajah was the registered owner of the group's PayPal account, and Nhance maintained a computer server that stored the digital files for distribution, according to the indictment.

Investigators discovered more than 25,000 motion pictures, including "Godzilla," "How to Train Your Dragon 2" and "Horrible Bosses 2," had been uploaded to the server in France.

-Sowmya Sangam

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piracy  international piracy ring