Properties raided in operation to target UK-wide illegal streaming service

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Person using a laptop - (Copyright PA Wire)
16:28pm, Fri 02 Oct 2020
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A police raid has disrupted an illegal streaming service in the west of Scotland thought to be supplying tens of thousands of subscribers across the UK.

Trading Standards, Police Scotland and City of London Police’s intellectual property crime unit (PIPCU) joined forces to target a major illegal distributor of premium TV content.

It is believed the service provided illegal access to premium TV, sports and films to dozens of separate illegal streaming services, which had tens of thousands of subscribers across the UK.

Two properties were searched and multiple devices which were suspected to be used for the illegal streaming of TV content were seized.

PIPCU also disabled a significant number of servers, causing major disruption to the distributor’s network.

This was a highly-organised group which purposely set out to defraud the television, film and sport industry

The action builds upon a series of raids, arrests and convictions relating to the supply of illegal access to premium TV content around the UK.

Detective Sergeant Ceri Hunt, of PIPCU, said: “This was a highly-organised group which purposely set out to defraud the television, film and sport industry.

“We took down a significant number of servers, all providing illegal digital content, which demonstrates the scale of this illegal streaming business and the financial impact it was having on the television industry.

“Together with our partners, we’re determined to crack down on these fraudsters and bring them to justice.”

TV remote stock - (Copyright PA Archive)

Fiona Richardson, chief officer of Trading Standards Scotland, said: “Tackling illicit trade in Scotland is one of the key aims of Scotland’s serious organised crime strategy.

“Illicit trade can have a serious impact on our communities and offers an opportunity for organised crime groups to profit at the expense of legitimate business.

“The use of illicit streaming devices and services can also have a number of serious consequences for consumers.

“As a result of Trading Standards and police activity, illegal streams can be removed without notice and customers will not receive a refund when they lose the service.

“These devices are also one of the main sources of malicious software and can allow criminals to access personal data and account details held on consumers’ computers and devices.”

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