The elite investigations unit of the Israeli National Police, Lahav 433, detained six Israelis suspected of allegedly operating piracy websites that distributed television content offered through Israeli cable and satellite television operators “Yes” and “Hot”, to tens of thousands of foreign Internet users, for a subscription fee of US $30 per month. The individuals arrested are suspected of violating the criminal provisions of the Israeli Copyright Law and Trademark Ordinance as well as money laundering and tax crimes arising from failure to report their revenue stream and its origin.
The police raided the suspects’ homes and found TV tuners which, according to police allegations, were fraudulently obtained from cable and satellite operators for use in operating the suspects’ alleged piracy business. An extended undercover investigation preceded the raid, originating from a complaint filed by “Zira” (short in Hebrew for “Copyrights on the Internet”), an umbrella company encompassing a number of TV and movie production and distribution companies that engages in the enforcement of intellectual property rights. According to advocate Eran Presenti, Zira’s legal counsel, the suspects reaped tens of millions of dollars in revenues from their alleged activities. Source: Calcalist (in Hebrew, by Zohar Shachar Levi).