Anti-Mafia Unit Conducts Melodramatic Warez Piracy Raid

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According to Bulgaria's Interior Ministry, the country's organized crime unit has dramatically raided a piracy site. Following a music industry tip-off, an "American movie" style raid ensued with unwitting employees at the site location ordered to lie on the floor while the anti-mafia unit - who didn't even have a search warrant - conducted what appears to a Keystone Kops inspired operation.

While reading the Interior Ministry’s press release, one could be forgiven for thinking this was an pretty important anti-piracy raid.

As part of the Ministry’s continuing policy of taking down piracy sites, on Saturday it announced that employees of GDBOP, the Computer Crime Department of the country’s organized crime unit, had busted a site that was illegally distributing movies, music and software.

Carried out in conjunction with the police from the southern city of Haskovo and the town of Ivaylovgrad, the raid netted servers which the authorities described as a “huge mall” for copyright infringing material.

While this is the extent of information provided by officials, thanks to TorrentFreak’s Bulgarian sources we can provide quite a bit more.

Not surprisingly, the authorities were prompted into action by the IFPI-affiliated Bulgarian Association of Music Producers (BAMP) who appeared to be working under the impression that they had a very big fish to catch.

With this in mind, on Saturday afternoon and with plenty of man power, the anti-mafia unit carried out their raid.

“Around 3 PM, 15 people form GDBOP entered the office, and as in an American movie, got everyone to lay down,” recalled Atanas Shishmanov, the owner of the company targeted.

Shishmanov owns Elkom 63, a company which offers internet and television services for a small town of around 4,000 people, CCTV systems, computer/cash register repair services and web design.

So what did the mafia unit take with their 15 men and police backup? Two PCs containing 5TB of data in total.

According to Shishmanov the computers aren’t even owned by his company.

“I read the Internet report and laughed,” he said, while noting that the police had no search warrant.

“The bad thing is that those computers were ones left by customers for repair, and they were taken open, as they were. We even don’t know what they had on them.”

Shishmanov is not the only one who’s clueless about the target of the raid. The authorities have left the the public in the dark about the name and identity of this to-be-repaired “piracy mall” that was allegedly operating from two broken PCs.

This action is the latest against alleged online copyright infringement in Bulgaria. Following talks with IFPI, in July authorities started taking action against various torrent and other file-sharing services, including online library Chitanka.


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