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More than a million TVs go dark: Provider of illegal internet TV in Den Helder taken down by FIOD

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FIOD Conducts Raids in Several Cities and Seizes Assets in Connection with Illegal IPTV Operation

In addition to Den Helder and Almere, the Dutch Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (FIOD) conducted searches of business premises and homes in Amsterdam, Enschede, and The Hague. The FIOD seized administrative records, bank accounts, five cars, computer equipment, and large amounts of cash.

The illegal internet TV service, known as IPTV (Internet Protocol Television), was distributed from a data center in Den Helder. Its shutdown has affected over a million subscribers who can no longer use the service. The TV service was sold through phone shops for cash payments. For a monthly subscription fee of around ten euros, subscribers could access all movies and TV series from platforms such as Disney+, Netflix, Viaplay, Videoland, ESPN, and over ten thousand TV channels.

It is illegal to offer and subscribe to services that allow access to movies, series, and programs for which no license fee has been paid. Additionally, watching illegal IPTV is also punishable by law, according to the Dutch Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (FIOD).

The investigation team suspects that the profits generated from offering the illegal IPTV service were being laundered on a large scale. This led to searches of various premises in the aforementioned locations, with assistance from the police’s Advanced Search Team and money-sniffing dogs. Europol also played a key role in analyzing the exchanged investigative information.

The Brein Foundation, which defends copyright holders, referred to the operation as “the largest criminal investigation by the FIOD and Public Prosecution Service into digital piracy in the Netherlands ever.” According to the organization, the providers have caused tens of millions of euros in damages in the Netherlands alone

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