Police Arrest Five In Operation To Shut Down Popular File-Sharing Forum

According to a report from Greek police, one of the country's most popular Internet forums with hundreds of thousands of members has been closed down following accusations of copyright infringement. In an operation which involved INTERPOL, five individuals were arrested with claims they had made 230,000 euros from advertising and membership fees.

GreekzPolice are claiming that they have shut down one of Greece’s largest Internet forums. TheGreekz.com, which authorities say had hundreds of thousands of members and 15 million hits per day, is ranked by Alexa as the country’s 61st most-popular site.

According to the report, the Department of Electronic Crime in the capital, Athens, worked with the Department of Electronic Crime in Thessaloniki, Greece’s second-largest city. The operation to shut down the site targeted three areas – Athens, Kavala and Florina – with the aim of tracking down seven Greek nationals and one foreigner suspected of helping to run the site.

Five of the individuals were arrested and charged with copyright offenses. INTERPOL is reported as being involved in the search for two other suspects who are believed to be elsewhere in Europe.

The Society for the Protection of Audiovisual Works (EPOE), who have been involved in site takedowns in the past, are said to have filed a lawsuit against the site and were the ones who made the initial complaint to the authorities. The police say that the activities at TheGreekz resulted in “great financial loss” to movie, music, software and games companies.

The operation against the site resulted in the seizure of hardware including 25 hard drives, 5 laptops, CDs and what is described as “a wealth of documentary evidence” that allegedly shows that the site made around 230,000 euros from advertising and membership fees.

This latest anti-piracy action follows a police operation in March last year which aimed to shut down Greece’s largest BitTorrent tracker.

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