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I had panic attack over piracy of ‘Malaika’ – Toyin Abraham

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Nollywood actress Toyin Abraham said on Tuesday that the piracy of her cinematic effort had resulted in her having panic attacks and being hospitalised at various times.

Abraham spoke with newsmen in Lagos as the police announced the arrest of five suspects in relation to the pirated movie ‘Malaika,’ which, according to the actress, gulped N500 million in production.

Abraham, who said she has taken up the fight against pirates, commended the police, and especially AIG IG Idowu Owohunwa, for matching their words with action by arresting the suspects.

Earlier, the Federal Criminal Investigation Department, FCID, Alagbon, Ikoyi, Lagos, said it had arrested five suspects, including two women, over the alleged piracy of the movie.

The spokesperson for the department, ASP Aminat Mayegun, paraded the suspects before newsmen at the FCID, Alagbon, Lagos.

Mayegun said that the suspects were allegedly involved in conspiracy, infringement on intellectual property, piracy and cyber-related crimes concerning the unlawful use of cyberspace to broadcast the movie.

She said on Thursday, a criminal complaint was lodged by Abraham and Seun Olayemi, co-producers of the ‘Malaika.’

The petitioners alleged that some elements had criminally pirated their latest movie, which was originally released for cinema viewing only on December 21, 2023.

According to her, the complainants alleged that their movie was unlawfully and fraudulently accessed, uploaded on a website and a streaming web link created for social media followers worldwide to freely view the movie.

The FCID spokesperson said that the complainants alleged that the suspects had infringed on their intellectual rights and were denying them their movie profits while unlawfully profiting from it.

“Following the receipt of the petition, a joint investigation involving the Special Investigation Units of the Anti-Fraud and Cybercrime Sections of the Department was launched, while the unique intelligence and cybercrime assets of the Force were optimally deployed,” she said.

The police spokesperson said that these initiatives, follow-up coordinated actions by crack detectives and further investigations on the case led to the arrest of the suspects.

Mayegun said the AIG in charge of FCID Alagbon, Idowu Owohunwa, had assured of his firm determination to continue to collaborate with the movie industry actors and the Nigerian Copyright Commission to rid the space of criminal elements.

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