Arrests shut down illegal TV streaming gang

Police officer on laptopImage copyright
Spanish national police

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Spanish police led the operation that resulted in the IPTV services being shut down

Police raids across Europe have broken up a sophisticated operation that pirated and resold net-based TV (IPTV) channels.

Five people have been arrested and dozens of servers shut down as a result of raids in Spain, Denmark and the UK.

The IPTV services run by the gang offered customers more than 800 channels including sports and movies.

The raids come as three British men were jailed for pirating footage of top football matches.

European reach

Europol, the European Union’s law enforcement agency, said the raids marked its “biggest hit” against pirated IPTV services.

The gang behind the European network ran 11 separate sites that offered IPTV streams. They gave access to football matches as well as national broadcasters, US cable networks, on-demand movies, radio stations and porn.

Prices for access started at €40 (£35) per month and could go as high as €460, said Spanish police who led the operation. Services were offered in 30 countries with servers located in Spain, Denmark, the UK, Latvia, Holland and Cyprus. In total, said police, 66 servers have been disconnected as a result of the raids.

The group is believed to have made about €8m from running the online TV services.

The operation against the Europe-wide group stemmed from an initial complaint made by the UK’s Premier League.

In the UK, three men who pirated footage of matches, Steven King, Paul Rolston and Daniel Malone, were this week jailed for a combined total of 17 years for this crime.

The trio are alleged to have made £5m from pirating the video streams over a period of 10 years. Pubs and clubs paid the trio for access to the games.