Around 150 IPTV devices were confiscated in a joint police operation requested on behalf of the European Investigation Order (EOI) last week.
The operation, coordinated by the Financial Crimes Investigation Department and the Cybercrime Unit of the Malta Police Force, saw searches conducted in three different properties across the island belonging to the same IPTV provider.
A total of 150 devices were seized, together with approximately 48 smart satellite cards, two smartphones and around €13,000 in cash.
The warrant was limited to search and seizure only, as requested by the EOI, hence no arrests were made. However, police investigations are ongoing.
Operation “Perfect Storm” was an EU-wide effort spearheaded by the Italian law enforcement agency Guardia di Finanza to crackdown on illegal film and TV streaming with over 5,500 computer serves being confiscated across Italy, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Lithuania, Malta, Romania, Slovenia, Sweden and the Netherlands.
Despite the legal problems, IPTV remains popular in Malta, with the Broadcasting Authority saying that at least one in five households in Malta are watching television via IPTV in 2017.
The number is probably even higher today. Leading TV content providers in Malta, such as GO or Melita, have found themselves competing with illegitimate providers who do not have the rights to stream that content, cutting into their profitability.
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