Illegal streaming suspect arrested in Shropshire as police raid office

A man has been arrested on suspicion of providing illegal streams of premium film, TV and sports channels.

Illegal hardware seized in the search
Illegal hardware seized in the search

West Mercia Police said a 56-year-old man from Shrewsbury had been questioned at the town's police station, following a raid that saw multiple items seized.

A spokesman for the force said officers also shut down the streams being provided and have replaced them with an online message "warning that the content accessed is suspected to be unlawful".

A spokesman for the force said he had been released under investigation while officers continue enquiries.

He had been arrested under section 44 of the Serious Crime Act and Section 11 of the Fraud Act on suspicion of facilitating others to commit the offence of obtaining services dishonestly, and concealing /converting criminal property (money laundering).

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.

“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, which investigates cybercrime, fraud and other IP crime, 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.”

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