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

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

News

Criminal convictions for Kodibox sellers

Two men have been sentenced at St Albans Crown Court after being found guilty of selling television devices which enable access to paid for services dishonestly. Thomas Tewelde from Acton, West London and Mohamed Abdou from Tonbridge, Kings Cross have each been sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years. They must pay £1000 … Continued

News

Seller of illicit streaming devices ordered to pay over £500,000

A criminal found guilty of supplying illegal streaming devices (ISDs) providing unauthorised access to Premier League content has been ordered to pay back more than £520,000, to the ‘public purse’. In April 2018, John Dodds was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison having pleaded guilty to a conspiracy to defraud. Dodds sold ISDs to hundreds … Continued

News

Seller of illegal streaming services ordered to pay over £10,000

A man has received a 16-month prison sentence and has been ordered to pay over £10,000 after he pleaded guilty to five offences at Merthyr Tydfil Magistrates Court. In 2019 the National Trading Standards Investigation Team (Wales) led a project, partnered with FACT, to investigate TV boxes available for sale online by Wales-based traders. As … Continued