DUTCH PIRATE STREAMER SERVED OVER 1.3 MILLION CUSTOMERS
According to the prosecution a Dutch pirate streaming service allowed customers to watch unlimited films and series from Netflix, Videoland and Disney+ and Viaplay for €10 a month.
The pirate, 30-year old Hicham O. from Almere, operated under several names, such as 4K OTT, Cobra and My TV plus, serving more than 1.3 million people.
The service allowed users to watch unlimited TV channels and as well as thousands of TV series and movies from streaming video services. The Dutch Fiscal Intelligence and Investigation Service (Fiod) pulled the plug on it last spring.
Subscriptions could be taken out for cash at phone shops. It was possible to watch via a special app, and there were also media boxes with pre-installed access to the service. The feeds were coming from a data centre in Den Helder, from where the films, series and TV programmes were distributed.
Early last year, the Dutch fiscal authorities launched an investigation into the operation. Last May, raids took place in Den Helder, Almere and Hengelo. Homes in Amsterdam, Almere, Enschede, The Hague were also searched. In the process, more than 1,000 servers were seized and cash amounts totalling at least €200,000 were found.
The pirate was identified as 30-year-old Hicham O. from Almere. He was 80% owner of the illegal streaming service and maintained contact with resellers and money runners, according to the prosecution. Tapped telephone conversations showed that he was worried about the Fiod. During these monitored calls he also said that he was turning over half a million a month and making €200,000 a month from it.
Justice prosecuted him for copyright infringement, membership of a criminal organisation and laundering €17.5 million, among other charges.