Europol disrupts $17 million illegal streaming business using crypto-currency

 

In a recent investigation, European police arrested a major illegal online streaming business that had reportedly been operating for the past five years.

Bloomberg reported police conducted 15 house searches, arrested 11 people and successfully took down 50 servers in nine countries.

The European police agency Europol claimed to have found crypto coins, property, jewellery, luxury cars and cash worth USD 5.4 million from the owners of the business. Another USD 1.25 million was frozen in various bank accounts, Europol said.

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Earn USD 17 million in five years
The streaming band, which mainly operated outside Spain, was a highly organized illegal business serving more than 2 million customers. It also boasted a dedicated customer service team and high standards of quality control.

According to Europol, the group offered more than 40,000 channels, films, documentaries and other forms of content. During the five years of operation, they received almost USD 17 million in payments through PayPal, bank transfers and crypto-currencies.

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17% of users worldwide transmit content illegally
As online media transmission touches new peaks, so does illegal streaming and piracy of copyrighted content. According to ABI Research, nearly 17% of the world’s online content broadcast population transmits content illegally.

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This is mainly because major media broadcast platforms such as Netflix and Walt Disney Co. charge premium rates for their services. Bloomberg’s report notes that the threat will only grow if these companies „gradually increase prices over the next few years to capitalize on their rapidly growing subscriber bases.

Midia Research analyst Tim Mulligan said: „The threat of piracy in the background means that video-on-demand subscription services will have the continuing threat of piracy as a pricing factor.