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Dublin: 13°C Saturday 28 May 2022

Gardaí arrest four in crackdown on illegal TV streaming

The Garda Criminal Assets Bureau has also sought to freeze bank accounts worth €84,000.

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GARDAÍ HAVE ARRESTED four people and have sought to freeze bank accounts holding €84,000 in an operation targeting the illegal streaming of TV stations. 

The arrests were made yesterday with gardaí saying they followed an investigation into the illegal streaming of TV content including pay per view products. 

Two houses were raided as part of the operation, one in Crumlin and one in Ashbourne, and two men and two women were arrested. 

The women are aged 37 and 40 and the men are 42 and 45. 

The searches were carried out by gardaí from the Intellectual Property Crime Unit of the Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation as well as local gardaí.

Gardaí said the operation was targeting “illegal IPTV streaming services”.

Such services and products use IP networks to stream TV channels which users can access via a computer or a set-top box connected to a TV.

“This operation is the culmination of an investigation by An Garda Síochána into the illegal streaming of TV content including pay per view products,” a garda statement said today.

It has been carried out in conjunction with police forces in England and Scotland. Europol have provided assistance on this day of action and Europol officers are on the ground with gardaí in Ireland. Significant support is being provided by some of the major TV companies and the Motion Picture Association. 

The Garda Criminal Assets Bureau and the Garda National Cyber Crime Bureau were also involved in the operation and gardaí are now seeking to freeze six bank accounts and two credit union accounts totalling €84,000.

Nine other third-party payment accounts have been “identified and limited” following the operation with gardaí saying it has been established that over €700,000 has been paid into these accounts over the last three years.

Gardaí have said following the arrests that people who pay to avail of such services should be aware the they are funding crime.

“This is an organised criminal enterprise where consumers are funding criminality and depriving genuine industry of legitimate revenue,” said Detective Superintendent George Kyne.

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.”

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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