During May 2013, police assisted by the Federation Against Copyright Theft carried out a surprisingly heavy-handed raid in the UK against a suspected movie cammer. Five unmarked police vehicles containing detectives and FACT employees were deployed to arrest a 24-year-old said to have recorded the movie Fast and Furious 6.
The man, who had lots of property seized, was arrested, detained and later questioned by police and FACT. Later released on police bail until September 2013 as the investigation continued, the man told TorrentFreak he had been banned from entering any cinema in England and Wales.
With the guy’s bail date just a few weeks away, the story took another twist. Police and FACT again turned up at the man’s home in the West Midlands armed with a new search warrant. This time they said that along with his sister and her ex-boyfriend, the man was suspected of camming the movie “Epic”. All of their homes were raided. With a lot more equipment seized and yet more detainment and questioning, all involved were bailed until this month.
“I went to answer bail at a local police station around a week ago,” the alleged cammer now informs TF.
“When I arrived I was told that the officer in charge of the case wasn’t on duty. However, when he was called at his home he said he had completely forgotten about the bail date and said that F.A.C.T had not sent over any paperwork relating to the case, so he did not know what to do.”
At this point a decision was taken to re-bail the three people involved in the case until March 13, and a few days later the man’s sister received a call from FACT saying that they would soon return the property they seized from her. Wednesday this week the trio went to the local police station to collect it.
“We were greeted by Simon from F.A.C.T, the person who came and searched my property and interviewed me last year,” the man explains.
“When my sister returned to the car she had several evidence bags, three of which were for me which contained my phone, six laptops, a desktop computer, two tablets and around eleven hard drives plus an external hard drive. Her bags included hard drives, two Xbox 360 consoles, a mobile phone and other items. Another bag contained my brother’s property (a mobile phone, laptop and several USB memory sticks) and a further bag contained my friend’s property including a laptop, an old mobile phone and other things.”
However, it appears that that despite spending significant time and resources on the case, police have no further interest in the investigation or anyone’s prosecution.
“Speaking with the officer in charge of the case this week he informed me that when I do go to answer bail all criminal charges will be dropped, or NFA [no further action] as they call it,” the man informs TF.
But with the police backing off, does that mean an end to the matter? Possibly not.
The officer in charge of the case has told the man that FACT don’t appear to be giving up and are attempting to bring a private prosecution. That seems to be backed up by FACT not returning all property – a mobile phone, three servers, plus a router and modem are all still in the anti-piracy group’s possession.
“The fact that there is no evidence for a criminal prosecution begs the question as to whether or not there is sufficient evidence for a private law suit. Surely if there was any evidence at all [the police] would not be dropping the criminal charges,” the man says.
“Also what can they possibly sue me for? I have no job, no savings and no means of paying any compensation regardless of the outcome. Is it simply going to be a waste of everyone’s time?” he concludes.
These questions can only be answered by FACT, although at the time of publication no answers to our questions had been received.