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Spain makes arrests and blocks 16 websites for illegally broadcasting IPTV content

Police estimate the organisation pocketed almost 5.5 million euros by distributing 130 international television channels and thousands of films and series around the world to its more than 14,000 subscribers

Raquel Merino

Malaga

Friday, 31 May 2024, 18:35

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Eight people have been arrested in Malaga, Oviedo, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Madrid as part of an operation in Spain to dismantle a network dedicated to the illegal distribution of IPTV content.

According to the National Police in a statement, the organisation would have pocketed almost five and a half million euros with more than 130 international television channels and thousands of films and series that they made available to people all around the world.

In addition to the arrests, two house searches were carried out and 16 IPTV content distribution, capture and storage websites have been blocked. Users attempting to access these websites will now be prevented from doing so and will be redirected to a National Police page displaying a message informing them that the platform has been intercepted.

Complaint

The investigation began in November 2022, following a complaint by members of the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment against the managers of two websites through which video content was allegedly being marketed in violation of their intellectual property rights.

The complex police, computer and banking investigation carried out allowed the specialists of the force's Central Cybercrime Unit to prove that the websites under investigation were registered, controlled and operated from several companies managed by the principal suspect, a Dutch citizen. This man allegedly led a business and criminal network, made up of people based mainly in Gran Canaria, under a legitimate business structure with which he managed to earn more than 5.3 million euros.

The National Police suggest that this organisation used the latest technology to capture signals broadcast via satellite in a multitude of countries. They then amplified and decrypted the multimedia content that they distributed illegally. In total, more than 130 international television channels and thousands of films and series were made available to people all over the world, a service for which they charged each of their more than 14,000 subscribers between 10 and 19 euros per month, or between 90 and 169 euros per year - depending on the type of subscription - with the consequent damage to the rights of the authors, producers and distributors of these artistic works, the statement added.

As part of this investigation, the main members of this network have been arrested and two simultaneous searches were carried out in Spain, one in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and the other in Madrid, in which a vehicle and two computers were seized. In addition, the sum of around 80,000 euros was blocked in bank accounts.

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