Authorities in Greece are set to commence a major crackdown against illegal streaming services. These authorities have reportedly been planning this crackdown for months, which is now coming to fruition.
The crackdown was evident on Friday last week after over 50 members of the electronic crimes division at the police held joint crackdown operations across regions.
Some areas affected by this crackdown include Attica, Thessaloniki, Crete, Peloponnese, Alexandroupoli, and Western Macedonia. This crackdown is focusing on businesses, homes, and stores.
Raids on Illegal Streaming Services
During the recent raids, law enforcement authorities discovered customer lists stored in digital and manual formats. These lists included thousands of users and had detailed information about user addresses and mobile numbers.
Authorities also seized a large amount of cash and digital devices. They seized devices such as computers with illegal customer management software, mobile phones, and decoders.
Authorities also seized a wide range of digital financial transactions valued at hundreds of thousands of euros. The legal document prepared for this crackdown mentions key figures laundering tens of millions of euros using virtual companies.
Illegal streaming subscriptions have become increasingly popular in recent years. According to estimates, the cost ranges between 15 and 20 euros per month. Despite the platforms’ many users, they fail to report revenues, leading to unreported data for the state and businesses.
Complex Structure of Illegal Streaming Sites
The criminal organizations behind these illegal streaming sites usually work within a pyramid-like criminal structure. They also have distinct roles and work within a cellular organization. These organizations operate the same as the framework used for the dark web.
The crackdown has already aired on social media, with online images showing illegal decoders thrown in the trash. This indicates that subscribers might face scrutiny from law enforcement authorities during the second phase of this crackdown.
In September, police in Greece halted the operations of a pirate network that offered illegal pay-TV services in Greece. This operation came after the Patras Security Sub-Directorate thoroughly investigated this service.
According to the Hellenic Police, ten arrests were made following this crackdown. Some arrested individuals include the ring leader, treasurer, dealers, and the deputy leader of the pirate network. These individuals were accused of being involved in criminal charges.
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