Worcester Trading Standards officers aided by West Mercia Police, in partnership with UK intellectual property protection organisation FACT and BT, executed a warrant on December 14th as part of the continuing fight against illegal streaming. Officers visited two addresses in Worcester and seized a variety of equipment relating to the provision of internet protocol television (IPTV).
At the main suspect’s property, the proceeds of crime from the fraudulent activity were evident, with over 15 signed sports memorabilia found including framed football shirt, boots and boxing gloves worth over £10,000.
The illegal IPTV service provided access to premium content including TV, films and sport.
Despite being previously issued with Cease and Desist notices, the individuals continued to offend and are now subjects of an ongoing investigation.
Initiated by BT, FACT referred this investigation to the Government Agency Intelligence Network (GAIN), which enabled progression by Worcester Trading Standards.
“Today’s action is an excellent example of our multi-agency working to tackle fraud and organised crime,” declared Regional GAIN Co-ordinator Jason Grove, from the Regional Organised Crime Unit. “These kinds of offences cost the UK economy and in particular the film and television industry millions of pounds each year and today shows that we will take action against those involved.”
“This operation to help stamp out accessing TV illegitimately is yet another good example of our Trading Standards Officers working with partners, and other colleagues to tackle illegal activity in the County,” added Councillor Karen May, Worcestershire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing. “I’m really grateful for partners working together to help crack down on those breaking the law here in Worcestershire.”
“Providing illegal streaming services is a crime and action will be taken against those running the services,” asserted Kieron Sharp, FACT CEO. “We thank the GAIN Co-ordinators, Worcester Trading Standards and BT for enabling the progression of this investigation. FACT will continue to monitor channels used to advertise, market, sell and distribute software, add-ons, devices and streams to take action against suppliers and operators.”