WASHINGTON, March 3 (UPI) -- Organized criminal groups are increasingly pirating movies and using the funds to support terrorism, a study from U.S.-based think tank Rand Corp. said.
The non-profit policy-analysis organization released a report Tuesday suggesting that organized criminal groups are increasingly turning to the lucrative and largely unprosecuted street sales of pirated movies as a new revenue source, Rand reported.
The research, supported by a grant from the Motion Picture Association, involved interviews with more than 120 law enforcement and intelligence officials and a review of 2,000 pages of documents.
The study said there were several cases of criminal groups pirating movies and using some of the funds to support terrorism, including activities by the Irish Republican Army and Hezbollah.
"Given the enormous profit margins, it's no surprise that organized crime has moved into film piracy," Greg Treverton, Rand Center for Global Risk and Security director and the report's lead author, said in a statement.
"If you buy pirated DVDs, there is a good chance that at least part of the money will go to organized crime, and those proceeds fund more dangerous criminal activities, possibly terrorism."