Widespread Foxtel service theft uncovered
December 17, 2013
By Colin Mann
A Sydney man has been charged as part of a joint investigation by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Foxtel into the widespread theft of the pay-TV operator’s services.
The 29-year-old man was arrested after it was discovered he had been operating an illegal card-sharing network from a business premises in the Sydney suburb of Cartwright.
It is alleged this network had been providing around 8,000 customers Australia-wide with unauthorised access to subscription television content without a legitimately-purchased subscription.
Following a period of ongoing liaison with Foxtel, the AFP conducted search warrants at a private residence and a business premises on November 1st 2013, where the man was arrested and a number of decoders and smartcards were seized.
He has been charged with five copyright offences and is scheduled to appear at Liverpool Local Court Tuesday December 17th.
AFP Sydney Office Manager Ray Johnson said the arrest and charges serve as a strong reminder that intellectual property crime is not a victimless crime. “This investigation has successfully disrupted a network which has been unlawfully providing access to services at the cost of honest customers who legitimately pay for them,” stated Commander Johnson.
“Criminal activity such as this costs consumers – who may have to pay higher fees to absorb losses and the cost of theft-prevention measures – as well as retailers and individual businesses every year in Australia and across the globe.”
The maximum penalty for such an offence is five years imprisonment.