RCMP Seize A Quantity of Illegal Satellite Dishes

March 27, 2003
Richmond B.C.: The RCMP Border Integrity Unit ( BIU) at Vancouver International Airport, have seized 80 direct -to-home (D.T.H) TV satellite dishes in a raid on a private residence earlier today.

On October 21 2002, a complaint was received from the Canadian Motion Picture Distributors Association (CMPDA), that a Richmond man was openly selling illegal D.T.H TV satellite receivers and programming cards to the public from his home based business.
As a result of an investigation conducted by members of the RCMP BIU, a 52 year old Richmond man has been arrested and will be charged with offences under the Criminal Code of Canada.

Eighty complete satellite systems including the dish, decoder cards and various other satellite system parts have been seized, with an estimated worth of more than $ 50,000. These systems are capable of receiving US pay T.V. signals, that are illegal in Canada.

The dishes and cards were being sold for approximately $500.00 Canadian, and were advertised for sale in a local Buy and Sell paper.
A Supreme Court of Canada ruling on April 26 2002 now makes it illegal for anyone to possess, sell, or distribute American satellite equipment or devices which capture signals from American satellites.
The only licensed dealers in the Canadian market are Bell ExpressVu and Star Choice.

The RCMP continues to take the measures necessary to apply the law with particular emphasis on illegal commercial operations and theft of telecommunications.

The Force is working in partnership with private industry and government to educate and inform Canadians about this issue.

* Digital Photos available below as Images 1-5 *

Released by:

Cpl. Terry Day
RCMP Border Integrity Unit, Vancouver International Airport
Phone:(604) 264-3684
Fax: (604) 207-9281
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Backgrounder

Quotes From RCMP News Release, February 21, 2003 RCMP Sgt. Richard Thibault, Media Relations Officer "L" Division Prince Edward Island

- The use of illegal satellite equipment is also a concern to legitimate cable and satellite providers. "Our group estimates there are more than 750,000 illegal satellite dishes in Canada. These directly affect the livelihood of thousands of Canadians in the broadcasting and the production industry," said Janet Yale representing the Coalition Against Satellite Signal Theft.

- In 2002, an investigation by industry Canada, in co-operation with the Department of National Defense, found radio signals emitted by certain pirate satellite cards, when used in conjunction with satellite receivers, were responsible for hazardous interference on one of the emergency frequencies at CFB Cold Lake. This kind of interference does not occur with legal satellite equipment.

- Similar serious interference problems with illegal direct to home satellite (DTH) cards have been reported in British Columbia, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Ontario, Nova Scotia.

- In two other cases last year, in Southern Ontario and in Sydney, Nova Scotia, pirated cards interfered with search and rescue efforts for what were believed to be a downed aircraft. Critical personnel and equipment were diverted on costly and absolutely unnecessary missions.

-Police radios are also being affected. In one case in London Ontario, signal interference prevented a police dispatcher from receiving a call for help from an officer on patrol. Similar interference problems were reported by RCMP in McKenzie, B.C. The interference was caused again by illegal DTH cards at local residences.

INFORMATION LINKS

- Industry Canada: http:// strategis.gc.ca
Contact (613) 943-2502

- Radiocommunication Act

- Coalition Against Satellite Signal Theft

- Canadian Cable Television Association




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