Gardai pull the plug on Kilkenny ‘dodgy-boxes’
By COLIN BARTLEY
THERE was bad news for Kilkenny users of so called ‘dodgy boxes’ after gardai broke up a multi-million euro racket this week.
The unprecedented crackdown on the set-top boxes followed complaints from communication giants Virgin Media, Sky TV and Nagra to the authorities.
A Garda spokesperson said: “A significant amount of electronic equipment and documentation of evidential value was seized.”
Gardai say organised crime gangs are pocketing €20 million a year from the enterprise.
It’s estimated up to 20,000 people across Ireland are using the ‘set-top’ boxes at any one time.
The Garda spokesperson added: “As part of ongoing investigations into the activities of an organised group involved in the distribution of ‘set-top’ boxes without legitimate subscription from members, An Garda Síochána attached to the Economic Crime Investigation Unit, Cork City Division, carried out seven searches at premises in the Cork Region.
“The fraud being investigated is estimated at up to €20,000,000 annually and involves up to 20,000 people, nationwide, utilising these type of fraudulent ‘set top’ boxes.
“There are no arrests at this time and the investigation is ongoing.”