Set-top boxes seized during Walsall fraud raid

Dozens of electronic items including suspected illegal set-top boxes have been seized from a Walsall flat during a warrant this morning (30 June).

The items were located after a joint investigation by the Metropolitan Police and the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) into the sales of illegal set-top boxes that allow free access to subscription television services, sports content and movies.

Officers from the West Midlands Regional Organised Crime Unit (ROCU) and the Government Agency Intelligence Network (GAIN) assisted with the strike action which was carried out today by Walsall Police at the flat at Barleyfield House in Bath Street.

In total 35 set-top boxes were seized along with computers, mobile phones and sat navs. They will now be forensically examined to determine if any offences have taken place.

Trading Standards are also involved in the investigation and will help to establish if any licensing infringements have taken place.

A 50-year-old man is helping officers with the enquiry and has been voluntarily interviewed by police and investigators from FACT.

As part of the same investigation officers from the Met Police carried out further warrants in Feltham, Middlesex this morning. A 48-year-old man and a woman were arrested and more than 1,000 set-top boxes were seized along with a large quantity of sat navs.

Kieron Sharp, Director General, FACT, said: “The proliferation of IPTV (Internet Protocol Television) and set top boxes along with apps and add-ons that facilitate illegal streams have created new opportunities for piracy and the delivery of stolen content.

“As today’s action demonstrates, we are working in close partnership with our colleagues in law enforcement on addressing these threats and are committed to bringing those responsible to account.”

Regional GAIN Co-ordinator Jason Grove, from the ROCU, said: “Today’s action is an excellent example of our multi-agency working across force boundaries to tackle serious and organised crime.

“These kinds of offences cost the economy and in particular the film and television industry tens of thousands of pounds each year and today shows that we will take action against those involved.

“Anyone with information about this kind of crime can report it to Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555 111.”

Related News

News

Criminal conviction for seller of illegal devices that provided access to paid-for content

On 9 June 2020 at Bolton Crown Court, Mark Schofield was sentenced to 24 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years. He was also ordered to complete 240 hours of unpaid work. Investigations by FACT confirmed that Schofield was selling devices that provided access to paid-for content including sport and films via his Facebook page. FACT … Continued

News

Seller of illegal devices that bypassed paid-for TV content has been jailed

A man who sold illegal devices that bypassed paid-for TV content – costing legitimate service providers more than £2 million – has been jailed. On 1 June 2020 at Manchester Crown Court, Crown Square, Daniel Aimson  formerly of Ullswater Road, Astley, Leigh was sentenced to 12 months in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to … Continued

News

Illegal film streaming links nearly treble during lockdown period

The COVID-19 crisis has changed the way we work, communicate, shop and spend our free time. With vast numbers of people around the world staying at home, life has driven us all online; enormously impacting businesses and customers in countless sectors. FACT has been protecting the rights, content and interests of the film, television and … Continued

News

Protecting content during the COVID-19 outbreak

Our thoughts are with everyone affected by COVID-19 during this extraordinary time. In the current circumstances, the demand for online content is set to increase significantly over the coming weeks. Where there is an increase in content consumption, online piracy is significant. At FACT we have over three decades of experience in protecting content for … Continued