Four individuals were arrested for operating several websites to advertise subscription packages consisting of more than 2,600 television channels and 23,000 movies and TV series. In addition, they had more than 95 resellers located in Spain, the United Kingdom, Malta, Portugal, Cyprus and Greece.
National Police agents, in a joint operation with EUROPOL, have dismantled a criminal network that allegedly illegally distributed audiovisual content to more than 500,000 users in several European countries.
The illegal network provided pirated content internationally via local resellers. The suspects operated via multiple entities, including “Great TV Choice,” “Best TV Choice” and “TV Choice Spain.” Additionally, the illicit services were promoted via real estate agencies, mainly in the coastal areas of the country.
During the searches, the agents disconnected 10 administration panels – connected to 32 servers located in France, the Netherlands and Spain – where illegal television content was housed, and computer material intervened, 2,800 euros in cash and two high-end vehicles valued at 180,000 euros.
The profits obtained, which amounted to about three million euros per year, were laundered by the organization by acquiring movable and immovable property in the province of Malaga and diverted funds through Spanish companies to bank accounts located in tax havens.
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Joint operation of the National Police and EUROPOL dismantled a criminal network that illegally distributed audiovisual content to more than 500,000 users in several European countries, Policia Nacional, Nov 16 2022
ACE Applauds Spanish National Police and Europol for arrests of IPTV piracy operation, ACE, Nov 17, 2022
Why it matters
The investigation began in 2020 thanks to a complaint filed by the heads of Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment, a coalition of companies whose purpose is to combat online piracy. The first police efforts made it possible to verify the existence of an organization that, since 2012, would be marketing and distributing massively and fraudulently – through different companies – audiovisual content from different television platforms with conditional access to payment. Specifically, they offered their customers different subscription packages consisting of more than 2,600 television channels and 23,000 movies and series.