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Police have just broken an alleged TV piracy ring in Sydney.

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The raid on the Sydney premises, which took place 12.10pm yesterday, is believed by police to be part of a global piracy ring, selling unlicensed TV packages for $50 per month.

The shop on Holden Street, located in Sydney’s western suburb of Ashfield, trades under the name QMC Mart, and police allege the store, which mainly sold TV subscriptions deals, is part of global operation with over 150,000 customers.

One man was arrested and taken to Burwood Police Station, charged with possession of a device with intent to be used to make infringing copy and distributing infringing copy of a work with intent to trade/profit.

NSW Police arrested the 42-year-old, from Lane Cove, and seized USB devices, computers, and an amount of cash and documents relating to alleged copyright offences involving pay TV channels and movies.

Police allege the man was involved in a large scale and sophisticated operation, based in China, which “supplies illicit access to copyrighted material involving subscription TV channels and movies from multiple companies.”

The $50 per month TV service offered 1000 channels including Asian content as well as English speaking stations like BBC, MTV, CNN and HBO and police believed users got wind of the dodgy Pay TV service via local Asian newspapers, according to Fairfax Media.

 

It is not known exactly how many Australians had subscribed to the service, however paying for an unlicensed service like this is a crime, warned Detective Inspector Coffen of Ashfield Police.

“We will be alleging the revenue generated by this illicit operation was about $70 million per year. So it seems there are a lot of people out there who seem to think it is an acceptable thing to do.”

“Persons identified with any involvement in this trade need to realise it is an offence which is punishable by criminal sanctions like large fines or jail. Anyone who is accessing pay TV illegally is advised to immediately cease the subscription or risk legal consequences. It’s the same as stealing.”

A 42 year old was granted conditional bail to appear at Burwood Local Court on 22 February 2012.

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