Thanks to police cooperation between Spain, the UK and Denmark, as well as Europol, an illegal IPTV system using pirate signals has been rumbled.
The combined police operation – the largest ever carried out in Europe for this type of crime – uncovered an international network comprising of eleven ‘server farms,’ some of which had 44 separate servers connected.
Police investigations began around the end of 2015 after Premier League reported intellectual-property theft being carried out from a network hub in Málaga.
This pirate network offered IPTV (Internet Protocol TV) with access to a multitude of internet channels with normally restricted access.
The police soon found out that the scope of the pirate signal operation was huge, offering access to over 800 TV channels as well as films and foreign radio stations.
The price that the organisation was charging was between 40 and 460 euros a month to its subscribers, depending on the content access. Furthermore, the police also discovered a webpage linked to several social-media platforms, in order to capture as many customers as possible.
The culprits laundered the benefits via fronts in the form of internet, computer hardware & software companies. As they were also legal Fibre providers it made it easier to convince users that they were authorised distributers of foreign TV & Radio channels.
The operation was not only based in Málaga, but also in Denmark, which mainly provided tech support and the technology necessary to carry out the crime.
When the police struck they carried out 14 premises searches, eight of which were in Spain (Malaga, Madrid and Alicante), four in Denmark and two in the United Kingdom. They also closed down 66 servers in those countries and located others that were situated outside Europe.
Five people were arrested and another ten were questioned. The three suspects arrested, all of whom reside in luxury urbanizaciones on the Costa del Sol in Spain, are being remanded in custody.
It is thought that this pirate operation accrued some 8m euros since it began operating as well as 1.6m euros being sent off shore.
(News: Costa del Sol, Malaga, Andalucia)