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Spanish police have arrested five individuals after an investigation into pirate broadcasts of Premier League matches on a global streaming service.
A press release issued by software company Irdeto, which participated in the investigation, said that the five had been arrested on suspicion of belonging to a criminal organisation, IP theft, fraud and money laundering.
Irdeto claimed it was the “largest investigation to-date” into a global online streaming organisation.
The investigation was carried out by Spanish authorities in collaboration with Irdeto and authorities from the UK, Denmark, Europol and the Premier League.
According to the press release, the investigation revealed a “complex international technological infrastructure” containing 11 server farms distributed over the world.
The streaming business provided access to over 800 television channels in more than 30 countries, the release said. The operation was worth “roughly eight million euros” ($9 million), Irdeto said.
Kevin Plumb, director of legal services at the Premier League, said the arrests highlighted “the Premier League’s hugely impactful global anti-piracy programme”.
“We are achieving unprecedented success in the protection of our media rights, with ground-breaking court orders blocking illegal streams and numerous actions against suppliers of illegal Premier League content resulting in significant prison sentences,” Plumb added.
The Premier League announced last week that three individuals had been given jail sentences in the UK for organising the illegal streaming service Dreambox.
Mark Mulready, vice president for cybersecurity services at Irdeto, said the “scale of this investigation is testament to the seriousness of piracy as a crime and the impact it can have on the industry”.
Irdeto, Premier League, Eurpol, Kevin Plumb, piracy, cybersecurity, football, sports