Police Arrest Fugitive Suspect in Kino.to Piracy Ring

This summer raids and arrests in several European countries took out several prominent websites. Aside from the main target, movie streaming links portal Kino.to, the raids also affected several file-hosting sites including Duckload.com. Initially one person escaped the wrath of the police, but the authorities now report that after a five-month search they have arrested the fugitive, who they claim was also connected to two of the Kino.to replacements that sprung up recently.

On June 11th 2011, Europe witnessed one of the largest piracy-related busts in history. The popular movie streaming portal Kino.to was shut down and a dozen people connected to the site were arrested. As collateral damage, several file-hosting services connected to Kino.to also went down.

One of the file-hosting sites that suffered due to the raids was Duckload.com. The cyberlocker site lost 400 servers, worth more than 2 million dollars in total. The authorities also tried to arrest one of the operators of the cyberlocker, but for months they were unable to locate him.

Two days ago the authorities finally managed to track the fugitive down in Delmenhorst, Germany. The Attorney General’s Office in Dresden reports that the suspect was arrested for his connections to Kino.to, and also for his involvement in Video2k.tv, a movie linking portal that was launched after the raids.

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The arrested is assumed to be Tim C, the operator of the file-hosting service Duckload.

After the raids on their servers in June, the people behind the site quickly redirected the Duckload.com domain to Video2k.tv, a site that was probably an even bigger threat to the entertainment industry. Video2k.tv was a complete video streaming portal, without ads and free of charge.

Coinciding with the arrest this weekend Video2k.tv went offline.

Reports from the German anti-piracy outfit GVU also link the suspect to Kinoo.to, a clone of Video2k.tv that was launched little over a week ago. Alexander Baumgärtner , the alleged owner of the German ‘company’ behind Kinoo.to told TorrentFreak at the time that they had acquired the Kino.to domain name for 1.5 million euros.

“We understand that Kino.to has a very questionable reputation due to the events of the last years, particularly in June 2011, but we believe that the basic framework of Kino.to is by far the best platform in the market currently and we are convinced that € 1.5 million is a perfectly justifiable price, since many users have the domain ‘Kino.to’ in their bookmarks,” we were told.

This new ‘successor’ Kinoo.to is also linked to Tim C in the German prees, and the site was pulled offline at the time of the arrest this weekend.

With the arrest this weekend the authorities have arrested all the suspects in the Kino.to investigation, but that doesn’t mean that the ‘problem’ has been solved completely. Other Kino.to successors such as Kinox.to are still online, and growing rapidly.

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