Hollywood and the City usually have little in common, but the two have been working together to fight crime and garnering a thank you for the Square Mile's police detectives from none other than Rocky himself.
Movie star Sylvester Stallone thanked the City of London police for "protecting the rights of creatives around the world from theft" after the arrest of a man suspected of leaking movies online, including Expendables 3, in which Stallone stars.
The arrest is a result of a joint investigation by the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU), part of the City police's fraud investigation unit, along with US authorities, including customs and immigration enforcement, Homeland Security and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).
A 26-year-old man was arrested at his workplace in Leeds and taken to a local police station for questioning, and several computers and mobile devices were seized from his home in Halifax
"Tackling virtual piracy remains a top priority for law enforcement. Too often these types of crimes are regarded as immaterial because they are seemingly without victims; however, when a business suffers a loss, it is felt at all levels, from the C-suite to the mail room," said Matthew Etre, the attaché for US Homeland Security at the US embassy in London.
"In cases such as this, preventing piracy is akin to protecting people’s livelihoods. This arrest is yet another success story highlighting what strong, collaborative relationships between law enforcement agencies can accomplish.,” he said.
The arrest was made after a probe was launched last July by Homeland Security special agents in Los Angeles who had received a tip-off regarding potential piracy from representatives in the film industry.
The Expendables 3, which also stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and Brit actor Jason Statham, was leaked online a month before the film's scheduled release on 15 August last year.
The leak is thought to have cost the makers of the film, Lionsgate and Millenium Films, millions of pounds.