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Special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) teamed with London police detectives last Thursday to arrest a man in northern England suspected of pirating television series and pre-release movies, including “The Expendables 3”, and posting them on the Internet.
The 26-year-old suspect was detained at his workplace in Leeds by detectives from the City of London’s Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) and taken to a local police station for questioning. Investigators from PIPCU and HSI searched the man’s home in Halifax where they seized several computers and mobile devices.
“The theft of creative content costs the entertainment industry untold millions,” said Claude Arnold, special agent in charge of HSI Los Angeles. “Preventing piracy comes down to protecting people’s livelihoods — from the grips and gaffers, to the screenwriters and costume designers. As for online pirates who think they can steal movies and TV shows with impunity, they’re finding out there’s a plot twist in this script they didn’t anticipate.”
Thursday’s arrest is the latest development in a probe initiated last year by HSI special agents in Los Angeles after the agency received a tip from film industry representatives about possible pre-release movie leaks. The ensuing investigation, which is being conducted in close collaboration with the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and HSI’s attaché office in London, allegedly revealed the Halifax man obtained high-quality films and unfinished, unreleased movies, which he posted online.
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