'Criminal enterprise' - four arrested as part of investigation into illegal TV streaming
Four people have been arrested in an operation targeting illegal TV streaming across the country.
Two women aged 37 and 40, and two men aged 42 and 45 were arrested in Dublin and Meath yesterday morning and were later released.
A total of €84,000, in six bank accounts and two credit union accounts, was frozen.
Nine other third party payment accounts were identified and ‘limited’, and it is believed that over €700,000 in total has been paid into these accounts in the last 3 years.
They were arrested for offences by Gardai from The Intellectual Property Crime Unit (IPCU) of the Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, under the Copyright and Related Rights Act, 2000, and the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act, 2010.
In conjunction with police forces in England and Scotland, the operation is a culmination of an investigation by An Garda Síochána into the illegal streaming of TV content including pay per view products.
Europol provided assistance yesterday and are on the ground with Gardai, with further support given by some of the major TV companies and the Motion Picture Association.
The Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation stressed the importance of the consequences of illegal streaming, describing it as a “criminal enterprise”.
“This is an organised criminal enterprise where consumers are funding criminality and depriving genuine industry of legitimate revenue,” Detective Superintendent George Kyne of the Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation said.
“Consumers are providing their payment details to unknown individuals and leaving themselves open to being the victims of fraud and/or data theft.
“The security around these devices and illegal streaming platforms exposes customers and leaves their home systems vulnerable. It is important that the public is aware of the impact of illegal streaming and its consequences.”