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A police operation working closely with FACT who investigate cybercrime, fraud and other IP crime, have arrested a man in Shrewsbury in connection with suspected illegal streaming of premium television channels, and other copyrighted material.
A 56 year old man was arrested for Money Laundering (s327 Proceeds of Crime Act 2002) and encouraging or assisting in the commission of an either way offence namely obtaining services dishonestly (s44 Serious Crime Act 2007 and s11 Fraud act 2006). This was following an investigation in partnership with FACT. He was taken to Shrewsbury Police Station for questioning and has now been released under investigation pending further enquiries.
During the warrant, officers were able to access and disrupt the online platform, disable the suspected illegal streams and deliver an on screen message to those who receive them warning that the content accessed is suspected to be unlawful.
Sergeant Ian Osborne from West Mercia’s Cyber Crime Unit said: “This operation is the unit's first arrest in relation to online streaming and sends out a strong message that we are homing in on those who knowingly commit or facilitate online copyright infringement."
"Not only is there an enormous loss to the entertainment industry with this particular operation but it is also unfair that millions of people work hard to afford their subscription-only TV services while others cheat the system."
*Illegal hardware seized in the search
“It is also worth noting that this operation benefits those who are knowingly paying a criminal for their service as they are giving their personal and financial information to someone who is more than capable of exploiting them, their finances and their privacy.”
Kieron Sharp, CEO of FACT said “Piracy is fraud and anyone motivated by financial gain from doing this needs to know that this is a crime which will be taken seriously by Police.
“There is also a risk to users and subscribers of pirate services, who commit an offence themselves, of identity theft, fraud, malware and viruses. Anyone who is considering turning to illegal content should consider whether it’s worth giving criminals access to their devices, personal information and bank accounts.
“FACT will continue to monitor channels used to advertise, market, sell and distribute apps, devices and streams and will take action against suppliers and operators. I would like to thank West Mercia Police for their work on this case so far.”
FACT is a world-leading intellectual property protection organisation protecting brands, creators and businesses from intellectual property crime. With close to 40 years’ experience, FACT is at the forefront of the fight against digital piracy and fraud on behalf of rights holders and content creators.
If you have information on who is selling, distributing or promoting illegal streaming services you can contact the police via or our website. Alternatively, you can contact Crimestoppers, an independent charity, on 0800 555 111 or you can report online anonymously.
Issued by AG, Corporate Communications