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Europol Operation Targets Pirate IPTV Providers, Four More Arrested

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After two people were arrested in the UK this week, a Europol-led investigation into pirate IPTV services has led to four more arrests in Southern Ireland. Two men and two women were detained under suspicion of copyright and money laundering offenses. Major TV companies and the MPA provided assistance to the authorities.

iptv.jpgEarlier this week, officers from Hampshire County Council’s Trading Standards unit assisted by local police executed a warrant at an address in Bursledon, Hampshire.

A 41-year-old man and a 30-year-old woman were arrested as part of a pirate IPTV investigation. They were detained under suspicion of offenses under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 and money laundering.

In a statement, Hampshire County councilor Roy Perry said that illegally offering content from companies such as Sky and BT Sport causes losses to legitimate business and perpetrators will continue to be pursued by the authorities.

The statement indicated that others involved in illegal IPTV were being targeted in both Scotland and Ireland. An announcement from Europol now provides additional detail.

Citing a complex year-long investigation coordinated by Europol and involving the Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Police Scotland, Trading Standards, the UK Intellectual Property Office, the Audiovisual Anti-Piracy Alliance (AAPA) and Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT), the law enforcement agency confirmed four further arrests in Southern Ireland.

Two men, aged 42 and 45, and two women, aged 37 and 40, were detained following house searches in Crumlin, Dublin and Ashbourne, Co Dublin.

All were arrested and questioned under the Copyright and Related Rights Act 2000 and the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act 2010.

Authorities said moves were underway to freeze six bank and two credit union accounts containing €84,000. Nine other third-party accounts are said to have been limited. Reports indicate that more than €700,000 was paid into the accounts during the past three years.

During the house searches, computer equipment and cash were also seized

“This is an organized criminal enterprise where consumers are funding criminality and depriving genuine industry of legitimate revenue,” said Detective Superintendent George Kyne, Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

“Consumers are providing their payment details to unknown individuals and leaving themselves open to being the victims of fraud and/or data theft. The security around these devices and illegal streaming platforms exposes customers and leaves their home systems vulnerable.”

With details of the operation in England and Southern Ireland filtering through, events in Scotland are yet to be clarified. Europol has only confirmed that “several actions took place” and as yet there are no reports of any arrests.

Europol added that the investigation received intelligence and assistance from major TV companies and the Motion Picture Association.



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"This is an organized criminal enterprise where consumers are funding criminality and depriving genuine industry of legitimate revenue"

It's nice to see so many resources and diligent work being put towards taking down 4 people that have essentially done little to deprive anyone of anything but hey no matter, I'm sure all the families of unsolved crimes will sleep better at night knowing that these 4 rubes have been caught

I don't use any such service particularly one which is not legal but it has to be said that cable companies are defrauding customers of money by charging exorbitant prices for such service which also tends to only go up in price and never down so maybe if they didn't charge like a wounded bull then more people would pay for it but lets face it the piracy model has far less redtape and no commercials so it always going to be better or the cable industries are going to have to severely pick up their game if they want to pick up more consumers. one has to wonder who's the real criminal here? The only difference (apart from the above) is that one is licensed and certified to rob you and the other one isn't.

On the flip side I don't think its very clever to pay for any sort of service such as this as sooner or later it will be shutdown and you may be left exposed or without service.

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