Trading Standards have warned against purchasing pirated set-top boxes.
Six arrests were made following a series of raids in a joint operation between by officers from Trading Standards, the Police, The Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) and the North East Regional Special Operations Unit (NERSOU).
The raids, which resulted in the seizure of 42 Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) set-top boxes were part of a day of action to disrupt the sale of set-top boxes which have been illegally modified to stream pirated channels, which include movies and sports.
The head of PIPCU, Detective Chief Inspector Peter Ratcliffe, said: “Set-top box piracy is costing the entertainment industry millions every year and it invites possible risks from malware and viruses into homes where these devices are in use.
“We routinely seek to identify and disrupt those intent on making quick cash from piracy and will use every enforcement opportunity to bring them to justice.”
Director General of the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT), Kieron Sharp, said: “Consumers need to be aware that these cheap pre-configured TV boxes are illegal. They are stealing copyrighted content and starving UK businesses from revenue, as well as putting consumers’ devices at risk of malware and ransomware.”