In a joint search operation conducted by the Central Office for Cybercrime in Bavaria, which was set up at the General Prosecutor’s Office in Bamberg, and the Bayreuth Criminal Police Inspectorate in several federal states, the police and judiciary succeeded in striking a serious blow against the nationwide card-sharing scene.
During investigations by the Cybercrime Specialist Commissariat of the Bayreuth Criminal Police Inspectorate, a 37-year-old man from Upper Franconia and his 35-year-old brother were targeted by the police and the General Prosecutor’s Office. The brothers are accused of having for several years illegally distributed illegally decoded pay-TV cards to a large number of customers and made them available for use for a fee.
In the early morning of October 21, police officers executed a total of 18 search warrants on behalf of the Central Office of Cybercrime Bavaria in five German states. Investigators from Bavaria, Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia, Lower Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt cooperated closely in the run-up to the measure.
Almost 100 police officers involved in the operation found extensive evidence: a large number of receivers, PCs, hard disks and other data carriers were seized. At present, the investigators assume that the cyber criminals had provided several hundreds of their own customers with illegal pay-TV access in Germany and other European countries.
The General Public Prosecutor’s Office in Bamberg is now conducting investigations against several suspects in five federal states for commercial computer fraud and commercial unauthorised interference with technical protection measures. The law provides for a prison sentence of six months to ten years for each case.
The total damage suffered by pay-TV operators so far is considerable and is said to be in the seven-digit euro range. Further investigations against the customers of the card-sharing network are expected to be initiated.