Cyprus Mail

Greek man is alleged mastermind behind illegal TV network

The alleged mastermind behind the illegal streaming network Dreambox that authorities cracked down last week is a Greek National, it emerged on Tuesday.

According to the daily Phileleftheros, the person suspected as the mastermind is a 47-year-old man from Greece who was arrested last week in Bulgaria. The 47-year-old reportedly owns a company providing internet services based in Petrich, a town in southwestern Bulgaria.

Bulgarian authorities found evidence on the suspect’s company servers they believe to be the ‘brain’ of the illegal circuit, Phileleftheros said.

In total, Bulgarian authorities reportedly seized 140 servers, 60 of which were at the company’s headquarters and in four other establishments leased by the 47-year-old, and 80 in two establishments in Sofia, leased by two other Greek nationals.

Cypriot authorities last week raided several establishments and arrested four men believed to be involved in a ring hosting a large-scale illegal Internet Protocol television (IPTV) streaming business in Cyprus, Greece, Bulgaria and the Netherlands.

The group had allegedly 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.

The illegal network was discovered by Nova Greece and later verified by Cyta as a piracy network existing in all four countries.

In Cyprus, three men aged 53, 44 and 43 – two Limassol residents and one person from Larnaca – were remanded following nine police raids last Tuesday in three districts in Cyprus. A fourth suspect, 42, was arrested last Friday in Larnaca in connection with the same case but was later released without being charged at the moment, pending the completion of police investigations.

Nine suspects were also reportedly arrested in the Netherlands.

The operation to uncover the ring was a cooperation of the Cypriot Police, the Cybercrime Division of the Greek police, the Dutch Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (FIOD), the Cybercrime unit of the Bulgarian police and Europol, as well as members of the Audiovisual Anti-Piracy Alliance (AAPA).

According to Phileleftheros Bulgarian and Dutch authorities had been monitoring the establishments hosting the servers for months, while, to the success of the operation contributed Cypriot experts on digital security.

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