Athikulam, Palanganatham, Meenakshi Bazaar, and peripheries searched

The Crime Branch - Criminal Investigation Department (Special Investigation Team) police, in coordination with Madurai City Police seized one lakh Compact Discs (CD) – all latest Tamil films - valued at Rs 60 lakh and arrested 11 persons here on Wednesday.

Following a tip-off that there was huge numbers of CDs containing latest Tamil films starring actor Surya in ‘Maatraan’ and among other movies, the police formed special teams and conducted searches at Athikulam, Palanganatham, Meenakshi Bazaar, Nehru Nagar and peripheries.

The teams seized one lakh CDs, a number of writers, a computer and other gadgets, around 1.15 lakh colour wrappers and 6,000 obscene films as well. The names of the arrested included Pandi, Basheer, Ranganathan, Sekar and Manikandan, in which the first two accused were described as key persons.

Speaking to reporters, DIG of Police (CB-CID SIT) Y. John Nicholson said that the raids unravelled that the accused were operating like a “big industry” clandestinely. The CDs contained Tamil movies, which were just released throughout the State and are being screened in many cities, were being illegally copied by the accused gang from different sources. They were allegedly intended for sale shortly.

Preliminary inquiries suggested that the accused had planned to sell them in different cities in southern districts and other parts of Tamil Nadu in the next couple of days. “It is a great catch as in a single operation; the police seized one lakh CDs. They were operating in rented buildings, which were mostly carried out on the outskirts of the city,” he said.

The CB-CID (SIT) police had in the past detained 18 persons under Goondas Act, as they were found guilty and habitual offenders of video piracy and other criminal offences. The raids were coordinated by Madurai City Police led by DCP (law and order) R. Thirunavukarasu, he added. All the 11 accused would be produced before a magistrate court. Further investigation is on.

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