An international joint operation against online piracy criminal groups supported by Eurojust – the EU’s Judicial Cooperation Unit which supports judicial coordination and cooperation between national authorities – has resulted in two arrests, one of which was based on a European Arrest Warrant, 73 searches and the seizure of several websites, servers, computers and electronic evidence.
The joint operations were co-led by units specialised in cybercrime at the offices of the prosecutors general of Frankfurt am Main and of Dresden, as well as the State Criminal Police of Hesse and Saxony, with the assistance of the German Federal Criminal Police. The operations were carried out in close cooperation with the judicial and law enforcement authorities of France, the Netherlands, Spain, Canada, San Marino and Switzerland.
The international joint operation is the result of the investigations conducted in Germany against criminal networks suspected of managing the Internet-based download portals www.usenetrevolution.info, www.town.ag and www.usenet-town.com, which illegally offered licensed or copyrighted materials (such as films, TV shows, software, computer games, music, e-books and e-papers), without paying the required fees to licence or copyright owners.
In total, the download portals provided illegal access to approximately 2 million links to licensed or copyrighted materials. The owners of the platforms managed to make an illicit profit of several million Euros, and this copyright infringement created damages of approximately €7.5 million.
Through a coordination centre established at its premises in The Hague, Eurojust supported the international joint operations and ensured the transmission and execution of European Investigation Orders, rogatory letters and a European Arrest Warrant, as well as the swift exchange of operational information collected on the ground among all the judicial and law enforcement authorities involved.