Police arrest Alaba DSTV pirates

The suspects were arrested for allegedly pirating DSTV signals

The police in Lagos have arrested two traders, John Andy and Valentine Ezenwaka, for allegedly engaging in piracy of DSTV signals.

The Police Special Fraud Unit, SFU, stated this on Friday.

The duo, traders at the Alaba International market, are accused of importing, selling, and distributing “illicit” devices capable of illegally accessing DSTV’s broadcast signals to “unsuspecting” members of the public.

In a statement signed by Ngozi Isintume-Agu, the SFU Public Relations Officer, the police said it acted upon a petition by Multichoice Nigeria Limited, the provider of encrypted multi-channel satellite television service known as DSTV.

Tunde Ogunshakin, Commissioner of Police at SFU, said, according to the statement, that the suspects set up contrived equipment that act as gateways which facilitated illegal access to the multinational company’s broadcast signals.

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“Some items suspected to have been used in pirating the intellectual property were recovered as exhibits,” Mr. Ogunshakin said.

According to police records, Mr. Johnson, 28, an apprentice from Abia State was arrested in Shop No. “F” 1377 and the items recovered from him included a strong decoder, 16 open boxes and one UPS.

Mr. Ezenwaka, 42, who hails from Anambra State, on the other hand, claimed to be a technician who repairs TVs, LCDs, and DVDs.

He is the owner of Shop No. “73” and the items recovered from him included Avatars and Spider which according to him are Receivers for free to air transmission. Also, a Laptop and Desktop Computers were recovered, the police said.

Mr. Ogunshakin said that the suspects would be charged to court “soonest.”

Multichoice, through DSTV, has a monopoly over major programmes and events in Nigeria including the English Premier League, and the full UEFA Champions League. The seemingly high cost of subscription for the DSTV channels makes some Nigerians look for ways to by-pass official and legal routes to access these programs and channels.

Officials of Multichoice have in the past explained that moneys paid to get the rights of some of these exclusive programs and channels, coupled with huge operation costs, lead to the high subscription fees.

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