IPTV: dismantling of a major European pirate network, 5,500 computers seized

Under the supervision of Eurojust, the police forces of a dozen European countries have seized 5500 computers used by a pirate TV streaming network and arrested what is said to be the leader of this organization.

The European Union’s judicial cooperation unit, Eurojust, ad have coordinated an operation to dismantle a pirate IPTV network in 10 countries, including France, at the request of the Italian authorities. In total, the operation, in which 700 police officers across Europe participated, seized more than 5,500 computers used as storage and transmission servers for countless international TV streams, in Italy, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Lithuania. , Romania, Slovenia, Sweden, Malta and the Netherlands.

Italian police also arrested what is believed to be the leader of this organization and seized his computer, communications equipment and several luxury cars. According to investigators, this organization has generated some 10.7 million euros in revenue in recent years, by selling illegal access to pirate TV streams.

Several tens of millions of euros of shortfall

This new European-wide coordinated police raid follows a first seizure that took place in September 2019 in Italy, where 200 computers had already been confiscated by the authorities. It was in September 2019 that Eurojust took charge of this file, to put an end to the activities of rapidly expanding small groups in the pirate pay-TV market, offering access to pay-TV channels. and content from VOD platforms at discounted prices.

Some networks even market, via social networks, preconfigured boxes allowing easy access to pirate TV streams, to which you have to subscribe for a few euros per month. Most of the sums collected by these criminals pass through platforms for exchanging money between “friends”, such as PayPal.

The courts were able to take action in response to several complaints from European television channels, in particular groups specializing in sports broadcasts, as well as from several American film studios. The overall shortfall generated by these illegal activities is difficult to quantify, but it would be of the order of several tens of millions of euros.

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