Spain stops TV pirate network
From David Del Valle in Madrid

The Spanish police has dismantled an International TV piracy network targeted at British customers living in Alicante, Murcia and Almeria, in the East of Spain.

Fourteen people have been arrested accused of defrauding TV platforms and the public purse of more than E500 million. The gang, composed of eight Spaniards, three British and three from Eastern Europe - was illegally taking the signal from several British channels to offer them to British TV customers in the east of Spain without paying TV rights or taxes.

The illegal network had 60,000 clients, most of them from the UK, who were paying E590 as a connection fee, plus monthly fees of E18 to 22 or annual fees of E200 to 220 to enjoy the TV services. The network was operating through three companies and had sophisticated equipments to decode and encrypt again to distribute the signals to its clients. The police has seized devices and equipment with an estimated value of E5 million.

The police operation was triggered following a formal a complaint made by Sogecable on the grounds that the platform owned TV rights.