According to a press release, the investigation to combat digital piracy carried out by the National Unit to Combat Cybercrime and Technological Crime (UNC3T), in conjunction with the Public Ministry (MP), arose after a complaint from some of the largest companies North American companies in the audiovisual sector, namely Disney, Paramount Pictures, Universal City Studios, Columbia Pictures, Warner Bros, Netflix and Amazon.
The complaint targeted an “international criminal group widely known in the illegal forums for sharing cinematographic content by the EVO Release Group”, which, the PJ maintained, “was one of the most active pirate groups worldwide in the dissemination of audiovisual products protected by copyright” since 2019.
Within the scope of the “EVO 1.2” operation, house searches were carried out in Portugal, IT material having been seized and three defendants were constituted on suspicion of being part of the EVO Release Group.
The alleged leader of the group in Portugal was detained and subject to several coercive measures, such as a ban on contact with the other defendants, a ban on access to certain 'sites' and related servers and a ban on the acquisition of computer equipment.
"The group made available various audiovisual content (namely, films and series) illegally taken from the victims' servers, causing a loss of more than €1,000,000.00, through P2P sharing", reads the statement.
The investigation by the PJ, launched in early 2022, found that the EVO Release Group acted by extracting the contents of the targeted entities, recoding them with specialized computer material for subsequent distribution on illegitimate platforms on the Internet.
The servers of this group that stored illicit content were located in the United States of America and the FBI collaborated in their inactivation.