DUBLIN, Ireland - In a multi-nation crackdown on illegal TV streaming, Gardai in the Irish capital searched two houses in Dublin on Tuesday and made four arrests.
In a statement on Wednesday, Gardai revealed that the operation was held in conjunction with police forces in England and Scotland.
They said that as part of the operation in Dublin, two houses in Crumlin and Ashbourne were searched and added that the operation ended with the arrest of two men and two women.
Gardai further noted that the operation, which has received on-ground assistance of Europol, came as a culmination of an investigation into the illegal streaming of TV content including pay per view products.
In a statement, Detective Superintendent George Kyne, of the Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, explained, "This is an organized criminal enterprise where consumers are funding criminality and depriving genuine industry of legitimate revenue. Consumers are providing their payment details to unknown individuals and leaving themselves open to being the victims of fraud and/or data theft."
Officials said that two women aged 37 and 40, and two men aged 42 and 45 were arrested in Dublin and Meath for offences related to illegal TV streaming in the country.
The added that the arrests were made for offences by Gardai from The Intellectual Property Crime Unit (IPCU) of the Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, under the Copyright and Related Rights Act, 2000, and the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act, 2010.
However, all the four people were subsequently released.
Further, Gardai revealed that a total of 84,000 euros, in six bank accounts and two credit union accounts, had been frozen.
In addition, nine other third party payment accounts were identified and 'limited.'
Investigating officers further revealed that over 700,000 euros in total has been paid into these accounts in the last three years.
Detective Sup. Kyne added, "The security around these devices and illegal streaming platforms exposes customers and leaves their home systems vulnerable. It is important that the public is aware of the impact of illegal streaming and its consequences."