THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: It’s good news for the Malayalam film industry. The anti-piracy cell (APC) of the state police is closing in on a huge organised film piracy racket. It all began with the surrender of a middleman Sreenivasan, a Bangalore resident, who helped the police to identify two key elements of the piracy network.
“Sreenivasan’s revelations would help in arresting the thriving piracy business in the state,” APC DySP S Rafeek said. "This particular group handles over 80 per cent of movie piracy business in the state,” he said.
Last month, the APC had tracked down a theatre operator and manager from Bangalore for shooting films after secretly conducting shows.
It was learnt that 40 new films were pirated in this manner from Bangalore during the last six months, of which the majority were Malayalam films. Five people were arrested in this regard. Following this, the APC launched an intense drive which led to Sreenivasan’s surrender.
According to APC officials, two copies were made from the pirated discs in Bangalore. One was sent to a UK-based Malayali while the other was dispatched to Chennai.
The UK-based youth was identified as Prem, a native of Varkala. He is instrumental in uploading pirated films, the officials added.
From Chennai to Beemapally
The group sent the other soft copy of the pirated CDs to Burma Bazar in Chennai. A seven-member team of Tamil youths equipped with sophisticated film-copying machines was identified as the suppliers of pirated discs to Beemapally on the outskirts of Thiruvananthapuram city.
“They are the key operatives of the piracy racket and their arrest could result in tackling the piracy problem in the movie industry,” Rafeek said. "When the investigation extended to the UK-based youth, online streaming of new movies began declining. With this, we felt that the probe was heading in the right direction. After we tightened the noose, not a single case of uploading of Malayalam films has been reported,” he said.