Jan 202019

Police raids on 300 Bars in the Valencia regions for illegal TV

Nearly 300 establishments, mostly bars, but also betting shops, were inspected in December 2018 throughout the Valencian Region in a operation against the “piracy of the television signals” particularly football broadcasts of La Liga Española,

The Operation was called “Operation Themys” and was launched at 22.00 hours on Tuesday 11th December 2018 in all the Spanish provinces.

Officers swooped while Champions League matches were taking place on the Tuesday night, targeting establishments in response to a complaint from La Liga. A force spokesman said 73 of these raids took place in Benidorm, of which in ‘at least 30’ cases officers seized signal decoders and cited the owners to make statements.

The equipment sized included Android IPTV streaming boxes, MAG boxes, BEIN (MENA) satellite decoders, Sky UK satellite receivers, and card sharing satellite decoders.

In the Alicante region, it was expected to act against more than a hundred establishments, a large majority of them (73) situated in Benidorm itself mostly bars frequented by English fans. They also inspected more than 20 in Alicante and others in Alcoi, Elx and Torrevieja. In Castelló more than fifty bars were due for inspection, in Valencia itself and areas such as Torrent, Sagunt, Gandia and Alzira, it was planned to inspect the owners of 163 establishments.

The investigation operated by the BCC (Central Cybercrime Brigade) started with a complaint filed by the representatives of La Liga after the detection of fraudulent reception throughout the country, with illegal decoders – programmed to receive the pirated signals.

The audit commissioned by La Liga, uncovered more than 4,000 illegal receptions in other establishments, which were warned by letter that they had been discovered. That was after the summer. In the letter, the suspects were invited to correct the irregularity – legally contracting the public broadcast of football matches – and they were warned that, otherwise, they would act against them.

Around 1,900 bars persisted in pirate broadcasts, which led to the complaint to the BCC. After drawing up a list of “suspects”, the cyber-squads of the central brigade designed a joint operation throughout Spain to deploy agents during transmission of the Champions League and Europa League matches.

However, in many of the premises inspected were closed or football was not being broadcast at the time of police intervention. In those that did, the agents removed the decoders and cited the owners as investigated to appear before the police as alleged perpetrators of a crime against intellectual property.

The League says that the annual fraud is over 500 million euros.

Official La Liga broadcasters in Spain are Movistar, Vodafone and Orange.

This should not affect users of such systems in domestic premises. The main issue here is the broadcasting to the public, which such systems in bars are affected.

(Source – Original news article in Spanish so some information may be lost in translation).


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