It is common knowledge that pirated CDs and DVDs of almost all latest films hit the market within hours of their release. The Kannada film industry has often complained that it is suffering losses on account of piracy. But how is this racket run? The Central Crime Branch (CCB) of Bengaluru police says it has the answer. It has arrested seven suspected racketeers by raiding a house in Deepanjali Nagar off Mysuru Road. The racketeers made pirated DVDs of latest Kannada, Tamil, Telugu and Hindi films. For this purpose, they had cut deals with managers of some cinema halls. On the day a film is released, the racketeers would go to the cinema hall and record the complete film with an automatic video camera. Later, they would burn the film on thousands of DVDs using the master copy, on which the film would be recorded in the cinema hall. The racketeers used high-end replicators to make 8,000-9,000 DVDs in just eight hours. They circulated the pirated DVDs among a select few who in turn supplied them to vendors. Shopkeepers in neighbouring states also received the consignments. This way, a film released in the morning is available in the form of pirated DVDs by 7 pm in the market. According to the CCB, it has seized pirated CDs, DVDs, MP3 CDs and 14 DVD replicators from the suspects who are: Krishna Reddy, 50, Venkatesh, 32, both from Ramamurthy Nagar, Basavaraju, 30, a native of Mandya, T Rajendra, 37, from Hulimavu, Kamalesh, 38, from Chamarajpet, Imran, a native of Hoskote, and Rangesh Kumar, from Tumakuru. Another most-wanted member of this gang is absconding, the CCB added. The total value of the seized items is Rs 60 lakh. Reddy, the CCB went on, is the kingpin of the racket. In 2000, the Hyderabad Task Force had booked him under the Indian Copyright Act. He was booked on similar charges at Torangal in Ballari and Guntur in Andhra Pradesh. He would make a neat Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs two lakh a month by this illegal enterprise, the CCB added. Reddys associate Basavaraju had rented a house in Deepanjali Nagar, which was used to make the pirated DVDs. Another suspect, Rajendra, dealt with managers of cinema halls to record the films and supply them to Reddy. Venkateshs part was to provide DVD wrappers. Kamalesh, who runs a shop on SP Road, would supply DVDs at low prices. The remaining suspects would record films in cinema halls, according to the CCB. M N Reddi, the Commissioner of Bengaluru police, said that the arrests were made following "credible tip-offs from some people in the film industry and a few sources. "The Telugu film industry is said to have suffered losses of Rs 600-700 crore since 2010 on account of piracy rackets. There were also repeated complaints by the Kannada film industry against piracy racket, he added. According to him, people are tempted to buy the cheap pirated DVDs rather than go to cinema halls. He vowed further crackdown on these rackets. The CCB police will question managers of cinema halls and are considering booking the suspects under the Goonda Act.