A new anti-piracy operation in Europe resulted in mass arrests and the closure of an IPTV service.
The offensive against IPTV throughout Europe continues. Although Italy has recently been the country that has fought the most against pirate broadcasts, with a new law so harsh that it could go against European laws , the rest of the countries are not far behind.
And in recent months the owners of football rights have scored great victories, in the form of arrests and convictions against the sponsors of illegal IPTV services. Now another case is added to the list, although in reality the police operation was carried out in 2022 and it has not been until now that its true nature has been revealed.
In this case, the operation was carried out against a pirate IPTV network hosted in Austria and ended with the arrest and taking into custody of 20 people , some of whom lived in Germany. The details have been revealed during an event organized by the Federal Criminal Police Office in Austria.
Prison for IPTV
As has happened on other occasions, the operation against these alleged criminals was initiated after a formal complaint from the copyright owners ; Although the name of the complainants has not been published, it has been made known that the pirate IPTV network offered content owned by DAZN and Sky, so everything indicates that one or both of them initiated the process.
T he reason why these large broadcasters got involved was because those arrested are accused of having set up a large network of pirated content, thanks to the fact that they were able to decrypt the television signals and retransmit them through their own servers to paying customers. between 8.50 and 10 euros for access. The service became so popular that it began to advertise on TikTok , Facebook, and other social networks.
After an initial investigation, the help of the federal office was requested, which allowed a team of IT forensic experts to identify the presence in Austria of a large network of possible suspects involved in this distribution of copyrighted material. This led to a major police operation, with two large-scale raids , one in the spring and another in the summer of 2022 in the cities of Vienna, Tyrol, Voralberg, and Salzburg.
During the raids 20 suspects were arrested, and although they lived in Germany and Austria the police claim that they were all Turkish citizens between 23 and 35 years old, with computer skills. However, not all the suspects fulfilled the same functions in the organization, and the police claim that the main culprits would have obtained profits of more than 11 million euros in a period of three years, although as usual, it is not clear how they got there. to that figure.
During the operation, 1.6 million euros , 60 bank accounts belonging to the suspects, and a car, an Audi A7, were seized. However, the majority of the suspects, 15 of those arrested, actually held sales positions, with between 300 and 2,500 clients each, and therefore contributing between 36,000 euros and 300,000 euros to the organization’s accounts.
In fact, there are still many unknown details about this organization; For example, the police have presented contradictory details about whether the suspects actually managed to decipher the protection of the television networks on their own, or if, on the contrary, they obtained the keys from a supplier or the so-called ‘Dark Web’.
What is known is that the suspects finally confessed after spending seven months in custody , after which they have been released pending trial; They will face charges of commercial fraud, money laundering and copyright infringement. Penalties could reach 10 years in prison in Austria