The Guardia di Finanza (Financial Police) have busted a pay-TV piracy ring in Naples Italy, seizing €76,000 in transmission equipment, including smart cards, decoders and PCs.

The pirates, equipped with decoders and cards from pay-TV operators Sky Italia and Mediaset Premium, decoded premium content and retransmitted it in real-time online.

Viewers subscribing to the service were charged an annual rate of €70, just over 10 per cent of the full and legal subscription.

According to the Guardia di Finanza, the transmission centre was handled by an Italian living in Switzerland though based in the Naples suburb of Scampia. The venture provided an annual subscription to live channels, as well as a package of on demand content, similar to that offered by the pay-TV broadcasters.

The four people arrested risk imprisonment of up to four years and a fine of €15,000.

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By Expat