Police In Germany Are Trying To Stop Armed Warfare Between Rival File-Sharing Gangs

German policeGettyGerman police.

Police in Germany have issued an international arrest warrant for two brothers who are accused of carrying out a series of violent crimes as part of an online turf war between rival “torrent” filesharing websites.

TorrentFreak reports that German police have started an international public manhunt to try and find Kastriot Selimi, 25, and his brother Kreshnik, who is 22.

Der Spiegel reports that a special police unit raided the Selimi family home in a German village, hoping to find the brothers who live there with their parents. Instead, the pair had disappeared, and are believed to have fled to another European country.

Selimi brothers torrent mugshotsDer SpiegelThe Selimi Brothers

The Selimi brothers are accused of running a copyright-infringing pirate file-sharing empire that reportedly spans over 30 different torrent sites. People use the sites to watch movies for free. The largest site run by the pair, kinox.to, was one of the top 50 most-visited websites in Germany.

It’s not unusual for police to crack down on people who run file-sharing websites. However, as well as running torrent sites, German police have accused the brothers of carrying out crimes including armed robbery, arson, predatory blackmail, extortion, tax evasion and copyright infringement.

The German prosecutor’s office warned that the brothers often resorted to violence in order to scare off rival filesharing websites. “Sometimes even a car bursts into flames,” a spokesman said. Police have warned the public that the pair are violent, and may be carrying firearms.

Police are trying to track down the brothers to bring an end to their crime spree, and also to try and finally shut down their network of illegal file-sharing sites. Golem.de reports that the brothers are suspected of possessing the information required to take the network offline.

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