British Police have just confirmed that several users of BitTorrent site OiNK were arrested recently. TorrentFreak broke the news last Friday after sitting on the story for a while but the mainstream press have been holding back over the weekend, waiting for confirmation. Just seconds ago, confirmation came.
Last week TorrentFreak reported that Cleveland Police had arrested a user of OiNK, who was questioned and later released on police bail.
We also discovered that other people had been arrested and deduced from our sources that this police action was taken against alleged pre-release uploaders – those that share before the retail date.
A few minutes ago in an email to TorrentFreak, Cleveland Police confirmed that a total of six individuals were arrested, all in connection with the uploading of pre-release music.
Three of the arrests were made on Friday 23rd May and three more on Wednesday 28th May. The arrested individuals are five men aged between 19 and 33, and a 28-year-old woman.
Suspects were taken to their local police station for questioning and required to provide DNA samples and fingerprints. According to our sources, they were arrested on suspicion of “Conspiracy to Defraud the Music Industry” although this hasn’t yet been confirmed by the police.
We can confirm that at least two of the arrests are for the alleged uploading of a single album. All have been bailed pending further enquiries.
Update: The Register contacted the BPI who gave this statement:
The BPI and IFPI worked with the police in order to close down the OiNK tracker site last October. The illegal online distribution of music, particularly pre-release, is hugely damaging, and as OiNK was the biggest source for pre-releases at the time we moved to shut it down. We provided the information to assist this investigation, but this is now a police matter and we are unable to comment further at this stage.