Zee Media Bureau/Prasad Bhosekar
Hyderabad: City police has unearthed a gang that illegally tapped satellite signals of TV channels and carried out signal piracy of cable TV service providers and arrested four persons involved on Sunday.
A team of Cyber Crime police raided a building in Secunderabad`s Trimulgherry area and nabbed four persons, who were converting video signals of several TV channels into internet signals and telecasting it to customers across the world through internet set-up Box of one Jadoo TV, M Mahender Reddy, Hyderabad Police Commissioner said.
Jadoo TV is a US-based company run by Faisal Aftab and Sajid Sohail.
"The customers only needed to buy the Jadoo TV set-top box and need not pay any monthly subscription. Most of the channels are paid channels and the gang was streaming their channels through internet. TV channels running their business legitimately, were incurring huge losses to the tune of several hundreds of crores," Reddy told reporters.
The arrested accused, identified as Kashif Ali Khan, Jagadishwara Chari, N Sai Kumar and J B Meghanandan, were also carrying out signal piracy of cable TV service providers in the name of `Pearl Technology` and seized the equipments, he said.
However, Sumit Ahuja, the CEO of the company -- Pearl Technology, is absconding.
Efforts are on the nab him and all the accused and a red-corner notice will also be issued, cops said.
"During the course of investigation it came to light that this signal piracy was going on for the past 6-7 years on different names from different cities and the accused managed to escape from the clutches of police by changing their set up to different cities," the Hyderabad Police chief said.
The `Pearl Technology` was streaming 115 TV channels to Jadoo TV. Two bank accounts of Ahuja have been identified and police are in the process of seizing them, Reddy said.
Jadoo TV boxes were used by customers in US, Australia, Singapore and 15 other countries and each piece is sold for USD 250-300 and so far 2 lakh such set-top boxes were sold by the accused, Reddy said.
Illegal TV transmission results in an estimated loss of Rs 6000 crores to TV broadcasters and the film industry.
This has come as a warning for those cable providers that run such rackets and also for the Cable TV viewers who subscribe to such illegal services.