UNSUSPECTING British expats in Spain have been left without their favourite TV and movie channels after police busted a €15 million network of illegal streaming services.
Policia Nacional officers headed the investigation that dismantled the ring of illegal distributors who were broadcasting more than 40,000 TV channels, movies and series across three continents.
Police raided 15 houses and arrested 11 people last week, including four in Spain, one in Germany, three in Sweden and three in Denmark.
Meanwhile a further 16 suspects are being interrogated for their alleged involvement.
Authorities seized €4.8 million, including cash and properties worth more than €2 million, four cars worth €500,000, designer watches, cryptocurrencies and electronic equipment.
The streaming services were set up by Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) and managed from Spain.
Subscribers accessed the services through websites that were hosted on a network of international servers.
A total of 50 IP addresses have been closed down and 11 bank accounts containing €1.1 million were also frozen as part of the inquiry.
More than two million customers were accessing the streaming services across Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
Policia Nacional worked with Europol, Eurojust and police forces in Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Italy, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Sweden, the UK and the US.
Europol, the European Union’s law enforcement agency, said the investigation had focused on shutting down servers, disconnecting IP addresses and gathering evidence that would dismantle the criminal group.