On September 22, the police arrested Rajesh Chowdhary (34), associate vice-president of UFO — a post-production company — along with, Gurgadas Bhakta (44), business development manager of Adlabs films and four others for indulging in piracy of at least 11 new Hindi films.
Karachi-based Asif, who is still at large, is said to be the brain behind this syndicate. Bhakta would hand over the rough copy of the unreleased film to UFO for digital mastering. UFO’s job was to send the film directly to the theatres through satellite, after completion of post-production work. With the help of Chowdhary, Bhakta would download the film on his laptop and then pass on the film through Internet to Asif. The film would then be accessible all over the world.
On September 23, the Crime Branch arrested Neerav Shah (30), manager (overseas distribution) of Big Pictures and Kalapi Ragda (29), head of overseas distribution at Shemaroo Films.
The duo was arrested after the police learnt that Chowdhary supplied the print to other off-shoots operating in the pirated movie business. Chowdhary supplied prints of the unreleased films to Shah, who in turn, forwarded them to Kalapi. Kalapi, through a middleman, would then forward the print through the Internet to Zuber in Pakistan.
The off-shoot was operating for the past three months, officials said.
The officials added that the group has confessed to leaking out at least 11 films.