Gardaí conduct raids in Cork over €20m TV fraud involving 20,000 people

Garda cracks down on gang based in Cork city providing fraudulent television services

Gardaí have cracked down on the activities of a gang based in Cork city who have been  providing fraudulent TV services. File photograph: Getty Images

Gardaí have cracked down on the activities of a gang based in Cork city who have been providing fraudulent TV services. File photograph: Getty Images

 

Gardaí have cracked down on the activities of a gang based in Cork city who have been depriving legitimate TV service providers of up to €20 million in subscriptions annually through providing fraudulent TV services.

Some 70 gardaí were involved in a series of raids on both commercial and residential premises in a number of Cork suburbs, including Togher and Blackpool, as well as the city centre in the crackdown on the activities of the gang.

According to Garda sources, the gang is involved in the distribution of “set top” boxes without legitimate subscriptions, something which is costing service providers such as Sky and Virgin Media up to €20 million annually.

The searches were carried out by gardaí from the Cork city division, supported by the local cybercrime unit, and representatives from Virgin Media, Sky TV and Nagra.

Detectives seized a significant amount of electronic equipment as well as hundreds of items of documentation in the co-ordinated raids, which involved back-up by members of the Armed Support Unit.

“The fraud being investigated is estimated at up to €20 million annually and involves up to 20,000 people, nationwide, utilising these type of fraudulent ‘set top’ boxes,” said a Garda spokesman, adding that no one has been arrested to date.