Director Ashutosh Gowariker must be heaving a deep sigh of relief, as his upcoming release What's Your Raashee? starring Hurman Baweja and Priyanka Chopra, has been saved from a global piracy racket by the timely action of the Mumbai police.
The city police arrested six persons including the manager of Adlabs Processing at the Film City for allegedly stealing the masterprint of Ashutosh Gowariker's What's Your Raashee?, which is set for release this Friday, 25th September.
The arrested are Afsar Hussain, Tanzim Sayed, Firoz Khan, Durgadas Bhakta, manager of Adlbas Processing at the Film City, his associate Ajay Pal and Rajesh Chaudhari, who is the associate vice president of UFO company. The police also recovered pirated DVDs of What's Your Raashee?, Dil Bole Hadippa and Rs.1 lakh from the accused.
The police revealed that Chaudhari used to copy movies that have been sent for digital mastering without the knowledge of his company. He copies them to his laptop, burns them on a DVD and then hands it over to Bhakta. Then Bhakta hands over the DVD to Afsar and Tanzim, who in turn send via internet to Asif, who is based in Pakistan. Asif, who is the mastermind of the whole racket, distributes the pirated DVDs to major Indian cities and other countries.
The arrest brings to light that this group has sent 11 movies to Pakistan before their release since it started its operation six months ago. Bhakta and Chaudhari were paid Rs.1 lakh each for every movie and the other accused were given between Rs 25,000 to Rs 10,000.
The accused also revealed that there are many such groups working across the country. Now, the police are seeking the help of other states to end this menace. Meanwhile, the arrested accused have been sent to police custody by a local court till September.