A man has been arrested in the UK in connection with the illegal leak of Expendables 3 and other films. The arrest is the result of a joint investigation between the UK’s Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations and the MPAA. The 26-year-old man, whose name has not been released, was arrested at his workplace in Leeds on Thursday morning. His Halifax home was also searched for evidence of wrongdoing.
“I’d like to thank the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit at the City of London Police for working with U.S. Homeland Security Investigations to apprehend the suspect in this case,” Sylvester Stallone, who wrote and starred in Expendables 3, said in a statement released to the press. “It is important to protect the rights of creatives around the world from theft.”
PIPCU was launched in September 2013 with funding from the Intellectual Property Office and is based within the City of London Police Department’s Economic Crime Directorate.
“Working with law enforcement partners across the world, PIPCU is coming down hard on criminals exploiting intellectual property for their own financial gain and today’s action should serve as a warning to online pirates,” City of London Police Detective Inspector, Mick Dodge, said in the statement. “This joint investigation also demonstrates our close working relationship with the U.S. Homeland Security Investigations which was recently marked with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding.”
Thursday’s arrest stems from a tip-off HSI officers received in July last year. That came after U.S. distributor Lionsgate discovered in July 2014 the theft of a single digital copy, and the federal investigation was opened.