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UP Cyber Cops Bust Fraud OTT App Broadcasting Disney+Hotstar Content With Rs 498 Subscription for Lifetime

The police in Uttar Pradesh’s Agra have busted a gang of cyber thugs who were allegedly streaming content of Disney+Hotstar on a third-party app created by them. The illegally operated app ‘Supermate’ had around 15,000 subscribers who had paid a one-time fee of Rs 478 or Rs 978 to stream content on the app.

But little did these subscribers know that the web series, movies or television serials they were watching on the “streaming platform” was illegally being broadcast to them. The content of Disney+Hotstar was downloaded from illegal sources like Telegram, Torrent or VidMate and then streamed on “Supermate”.

The Agra police said they have identified the two key operatives – both real brothers – and arrested one of them. The accused – Ashish Dixit and Aakash Dixit – have so far earned at least Rs 67 lakh through this fraud streaming app.

Ashish Dixit (25) has been arrested, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (Agra) Satyanarayan said.

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How The Matter Came To Light

On January 11, representatives of Star India private limited approached Agra Police Commissioner Dr. Preetinder Singh. The group’s officials informed him that they have come to know content of their streaming OTT platform Disney+Hotstar was being downloaded illegally and streamed on a third-party app called ‘Supremate’.

The group also shared inputs that the people suspected behind the con job were believed to be located in the Taj City only.

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Soon, a first information report (FIR) was lodged at the Shahganj police station in Agra and an investigation launched into the case. The FIR was lodged under section 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code and under relevant provisions of the Information Technology Act.
The case also lodged under provisions of the Copyright Act.

Investigation Findings
The Cyber Crime team of the Agra Police chipped in for the probe into the case. The police found out that a company named DreamStake Private Limited was registered in December 2020. The directors of the company were Ashish Dixit and Akash Dixit, both residents of Shahganj area in Agra.

After registering their company, the Dixit brothers contacted a cloud-server firm in the Netherlands and signed an agreement for using their services for an annual payment of Rs 10 lakh.

Thereafter, the accused downloaded content of Disney+Hotstar using Telegram, Torrent and VidMate. This content was then uploaded by them on their app Supermate and streamed illegally to over 15,000 subscribers.

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Subscription Packages on the Fraud App

The app Supermate had two package options for subscribers. One package of Rs 498 and the other of Rs 978.

Through this app, they had broadcast content illegally and fraudulently for two years and incurred around Rs 67 lakh during this period.

At present, around Rs 6 lakh was found in their bank accounts, which have been frozen now.

According to police, what lured the subscribers most was the one-time payment offer of the app.

The subscriber was promised life-time free content against a payment of Rs 498 or Rs 978, depending on the package chosen by them. This was in contrast with the policy of other OTT platforms that have monthly, tri-monthly, biannual or annual subscription plans.

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