The man, who was arrested last week in Bulgaria, owns a company providing internet services based in Petrich, a town in southwestern Bulgaria. The Bulgarian authorities found evidence on the suspect’s company servers they believe to be the ‘brain’ of the illegal circuit.
In total, Bulgarian authorities reportedly seized 140 servers, 60 of which were at the company’s headquarters and in four other establishments leased by the 47-year-old, and 80 in two establishments in Sofia, leased by two other Greek nationals.
According to TorrentFreak, the ISP from where the illicit operation allegedly broadcast to the world is located in a small Bulgarian town, and the ISP is said to be cooperating with the police to identify the suspects.
In Cyprus, three men aged 53, 44 and 43 – two Limassol residents and one person from Larnaca – were remanded following nine police raids last Tuesday in three districts in Cyprus. A fourth suspect, 42, was arrested last Friday in Larnaca in connection with the same case but was later released without being charged at the moment, pending the completion of police investigations.
Nine suspects were also reportedly arrested in the Netherlands. Bulgarian and Dutch authorities had been monitoring the establishments hosting the servers for months, while, to the success of the operation contributed Cypriot experts on digital security.
The illegal IPTV network was serving around half a million subscribers across Europe with an offer of around 1,200 TV channels, including Sky UK, Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia, the Greek Nova TV, the Dutch Ziggo Sport and Fox Sports, and many others.
Meanwhile, unconfirmed reports surface that other illegals streaming IPTV services are popping up, taking the place of the shut-down operation.
This is the sec0nd time that a police action in Cyprus put an end to a pirate TV offer. In June 2011 the Cypriote police uncovered a card-sharing ring.