Digital platform security specialist Irdeto and video entertainment services provider MultiChoice Africa Limited (MAL) have confirmed that three content pirates have been sentenced in Cairo, Egypt. The sentencing follows multiple piracy raids which uncovered a large cybercrime syndicate illegally offering premium content services. The three defendants were found guilty on all criminal charges and were each sentenced to a two-year jail term and a fine of £75,000 (€3,700).
The syndicate offered control word sharing equipment and illegal pirate subscriptions for sale, allowing 163,802 pirate viewers unauthorised access to content from a number of international broadcasters. The ruling follows extensive collaboration between Egyptian Cybercrime Police, MAL and Irdeto and marks the culmination of one of the largest investigations into an extensive control word sharing piracy network.
“Engaging in any form of piracy comes with consequences, and this ruling clearly indicates that piracy will not be tolerated,” declared Frikkie Jonker, General Manager, Africa Piracy Department, MultiChoice Africa. “These convictions are critical to sending a message to the pirate community that piracy is a serious offence that damages the media and entertainment industry. Our collaboration with Irdeto and the unbelievable support of the Egyptian Enforcement Authorities, without whom this would not have been possible, demonstrates the importance of working together to combat the growing problem of piracy.”
The initial investigations into suspects began through a partnership between MAL and Irdeto, before a joint criminal investigation referral was made to the Egypt Ministry of Internal Affairs. Raids were conducted that uncovered several electronic components, servers, almost 40 smartcards from multiple conditional access providers, several pirate decoders, smartcard readers and other related equipment typically used within a pirate control word sharing operation. Cash of over $220,000 was also seized during the raids. Further investigation uncovered over 5,000 advertisements for pirate devices on Alibaba B2B platforms.
“These convictions are a testament to the seriousness of the piracy offence and the commitment of law enforcement worldwide to crack down on these cybercrime networks,” said Rory O’Connor, Vice President of Cybersecurity Services, Irdeto. “Our partnership with MultiChoice Africa epitomises our commitment to content owners, rights holders and operators to combat smartcard sharing and other forms of piracy. We will continue to work closely with law enforcement around the globe to shut down criminal pirate networks and ensure that justice is served.”