Police said on Friday they would continue investigations into illegal television streaming network Dreambox after they arrested three men earlier in the week.
The group had established a significant technical network of servers to broadcast more than 1,000 cable channels – including Nova, Sky Cinema and Sky Sports – to more than half a million subscribers in Europe.
“We will target the providers rather than the users,” a police spokesman told the Cyprus Mail, adding that they are now collecting over 800 testimonies and investigating nine more individuals.
Two of the accused are from Limassol and one from Larnaca. Among the charges they face are conspiracy to commit a felony, violation of European law on intellectual property, the unlawful creation of personal data without the approval of the data protection agency and felonies against the law on prevention and combatting of illicit operations.
Their arrests were the result of nine police raids carried out on Tuesday in three districts in Cyprus, and Greece, Bulgaria and the Netherlands in broader collaboration with Europol’s mobile unit.
The illegal network was discovered by Nova Greece and later verified by CYTA as a piracy network existing in all four countries.
State broadcaster CyBC said on Thursday that the whole police operation is the result of an investigation that began last February. The delay occurred because the main server in Bulgaria used masking software to show it was coming from the Netherlands.
Among Dreambox’s clients were cafes and clubs, which used the service to show live football at a cost substantially lower than purchasing legal subscriptions.
CYTA said on Friday it will enhance its efforts against piracy to secure the interests of its intellectual property and its clients by collaborating with all parties in charge at home and abroad.
Any complaints or information regarding possible piracy networks can be given through CYTA’s call service or the email address [email protected]
Dreambox uses set-top boxes to receive online streaming services through internet connections instead of mainstream antennas or fibre-optic cables.
The providers illegally transmit pay-per-view services using sophisticated technology. In many cases, a providers or users may use Virtual Private Networks or VPNs to conceal their identities and locations while circumventing any geo-restrictions. It is illegal under the law on intellectual property crime in Europe.