The UK’s Police Intellectual Property Unit has raided a UK-based pirate TV streaming operation said to be responsible for the distribution of thousands of illegal devices worldwide. In addition to the seizure of dozens of servers, three men have been arrested.
Following a series of dawn raids carried out yesterday morning in Lancashire, PIPCU arrested three men aged 36, 40 and 58, on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud and money laundering offences.
PIPCU say that the operation received assistance from local police and a forensic investigator from the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT).
While previous operations against streaming pirates have usually resulted in the seizure of Kodi-enabled Android set-top boxes, this operation appears to have gone a step up the chain.
Photographs provided by PIPCU show what appears to be a somewhat sophisticated operation, beginning with satellite TV reception.
The PIPCU operation spanned three residential addresses and an as-yet-unnamed business premises. It seems likely that the photograph of the server room shown below was taken in the latter location. Thus far, PIPCU say they have seized approximately 30 servers.
Firstly, PIPCU claims that the devices were being sold as legitimate products that could provide content to users anywhere in the world for an annual fee of around £400. Second, the unit also identified a small town with a population of just 41,000.
So, given the location of the raids and the specific nature and size of the business, one company in particular stands out as the most likely candidate.
The outfit has not yet responded to our requests for comment so naturally we won’t name them, but we do know that they offer IPTV packages to the expat market and those abroad for just a few pounds less than the £400 mentioned by PIPCU.
The packages (and indeed the hardware) are also marketed and sold as entirely legitimate. We’re also aware that a staff member at the company was previously involved in another business dealing in satellite communications.
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