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EU cross-border crime unit claims major anti-piracy success

EU cross-border organised crime coordination unit Eurojust has claimed a major success in taking down an international pay TV piracy network with operations in multiple countries.

According to Eurojust, the take-down of the criminal group responsible for content theft amounting to €6.5 million followed a series of investigations conducted by prosecutors from Naples and Rome, with the support of judicial and police authorities from Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, France, and the Netherlands, as well as Eurojust.

More than 200 servers were taken offline in Germany, France and the Netherlands, and over 150 PayPal accounts of the criminals were blocked.

Eurojust opened a cross-border case following an investigation into the pirate outfit by the Naples public prosecutor, supported by the Nucleo Speciale Tutela Privacy e Frodi Tecnologiche della Guardia di Finanza di Roma.

According to Eurojust, the criminal group had illegally re-broadcast and sold pay-per-view products and services, similar to the ones offered by Sky Italia, Mediaset Premium, Netflix, DAZN, and Mediaset Infinity in various member states and third countries from 2015 onwards.

Several retransmission stations were set up with special servers to disable the encryption of the original programmes and generate an illegal IPTV signal.

Some 22 individuals have been arrested in connection with the case.  Evidence, including servers, digital equipment, payment instruments, record sheets and other infrastructure was seized.