A pirate IPTV group has been raided by police in Greece, with ten operators arrested and twelve vehicles seized.
In a significant crackdown on piracy, Greek authorities have recently dismantled a major illegal IPTV operation, highlighting the ongoing battle against unauthorized streaming services in Europe.
This operation, which spanned over eight years, allegedly caused broadcasters losses exceeding €100 million. Here’s a comprehensive look at the situation.
Pirate IPTV Group Arrested
Greek enthusiasts of live TV, sports, and movies are no different from the rest of Europe.
They love their entertainment. But, like many others, they often grumble about the steep prices of official subscription TV packages.
This discontent has led many to seek solace in cheaper IPTV subscriptions.
While Greece has made efforts to block these unauthorized streaming services, ensuring that legitimate TV companies like Nova and Cosmote can operate profitably, sometimes the only effective strategy is to target the individuals behind these operations.
The recent crackdown by the Hellenic Police, spearheaded by the Patras Security Sub-Directorate, has brought down a significant player in the illegal IPTV scene.
The unnamed service is believed to have caused losses of over €100 million to major TV companies, including giants like Cosmote, Nova, and Vodafone.
The methodology behind this staggering loss calculation remains undisclosed.
In a coordinated effort, the police arrested ten individuals, with nine being locals and one possibly of Ukrainian origin.
The arrested individuals reportedly include the kingpin of the operation, his deputy, the alleged financial controller, and several subscription sellers.
These individuals now face a slew of charges, ranging from participation in a criminal organization to intellectual property crimes and money laundering.
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A Look into the Operation’s Modus Operandi
The preliminary findings suggest that this organization had been active for nearly eight years, amassing around 13,000 local subscribers.
Their total profit from this venture is estimated to be over €25 million.
The group operated an online platform, with members taking on roles based on their position in the hierarchy.
They employed various methods to collect their illicit earnings, including manual collections, using overseas digital banks, and even funneling money through their and their family members’ bank accounts.
To maintain a tight grip on their clientele, the leaders used a specialized subscriber management program, ensuring they had complete oversight of their operations.
Furthermore, the packages they sold weren’t limited to live TV. They also provided customers with a VOD (video-on-demand) library filled with movies and TV series, all without any permissions from the rightful owners.
Tracing the Illicit Earnings
The group didn’t just hoard their ill-gotten gains. They laundered their money by investing in real estate, setting up individual companies, and even through certain betting companies.
While the police haven’t commented on any bank account seizures, they managed to confiscate significant assets.
During the raid, the assets seized included the following:
- 93,500 euros
- 6,400 British pounds
- electronic IPTV Boxes
- mobile phones
- storage disks
- Six luxury cars
- Six motorcycles
- Handwritten notes listing clients, their phone numbers and addresses, as well as the amounts of money they received from each
The recent crackdown by the Greek police underscores the global challenge of illegal IPTV operations.
It will be interesting to see if the individuals involved are sentenced and any prosecution that may occur.
The biggest takeaway of this story is that anyone who registered or used these IPTV services has their data in the hands of authorities.
This isn’t the first time we have seen pirate IPTV operators arrested by authorities.
- Flawless IPTV Operators Sentenced to 30+ Years
- LaLiga Helps Police Arrest IPTV Suspects
- Pirate IPTV Resellers Sentenced to Jail
Legal IPTV Streaming Options
IPTV Wire can’t determine whether unverified IPTV services, apps, websites, or add-ons hold the proper licensing.
If and when an IPTV service is deemed illegal, we notify our users immediately and update reports on our website like this one to reflect that information.
In conclusion, the end-user is responsible for all content accessed through free IPTV apps and paid services.
See our detailed guide below for more information on the legality of IPTV and everything you need to know before streaming.
For 100% verified and legal IPTV providers, see the options listed below:
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Pluto TV is another popular free and legal IPTV application used by millions of cord-cutters.
This free IPTV provider offers hundreds of live channels along with thousands of movies and TV shows.
Check out our Pluto TV guide below for more information.