The Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) and Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, a UK government department, have helped police seize 50 illegal streaming devices across Northern Ireland.
Detectives from the criminal investigation branch in Belfast, carried out 18 searches on Wednesday, December 6.
FACT said that more than 8,000 cigarettes, 2.9 kilograms of rolling tobacco, 232 cigars, 50 illegal streaming devices and approximately £5,000 ($6,685) in cash were seized.
Two men were arrested during the multi-agency operation.
Detective inspector Natalie McNally said: “Buying cheap counterfeit goods, cigarettes or tobacco products, which have been purchased without the relevant duty being paid, or illegal streaming devices—all of which may appear to be bargains—means that revenue to the legitimate economy is lost.”
In September, FACT announced that more than one million illegal set-top boxes with add-ons have been sold in the UK over the past two years.
The illegal streaming devices can also pose safety risks. Last month, a report found that 100% of illicit streaming devices that were tested in the UK failed to meet electrical safety regulations.
The UK Intellectual Property Office released guidance on illicit streaming devices, outlining various reasons why they are unsafe, following the safety report.
Kieron Sharp, CEO of FACT, said: “Many people view piracy as a victimless crime, however consumers need to realise that illegal streaming devices offering unlawful access to TV, sport and films threaten our creative industries and the 1.9 million people in the UK working in them.”
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