RCMP DISMANTLES SATELLITE SIGNAL THEFT RING
MONTREAL,Thursday, February 22, 2007 – The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Federal Investigation Section, as a result of information obtained from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), put an end to the activities of a Montréal man who will be charged with illegally offering satellite signal distribution services to at least 300 clients without the knowledge of an American distributor not authorized in Canada. This fraud represents losses of some 2.5 M$ for legitimate Canadian companies.
On February 20, RCMP officers searched the 42-year-old alleged offender’s satellite antenna installation business located at 8672, Drolet Street in Montréal. They seized equipment and devices used to illegally intercept and decrypt satellite signals, records related to this fraud including a list of at least 300 clients, as well as papers and computer media containing information on a post office box in the United States where invoices from a distributor not authorized in Canada were received.
The business owner could face charges under the Radiocommunication Act, including for offering for sale, leasing, distributing and installing equipment and devices used to decode an encrypted subscription programming signal without authorization from a lawful distributor in Canada. Clients will also be charged with possession of devices not authorized Canada.
A post office box in the US
The subject used a post office box in the United States to illegally offer to its clients the services of an American satellite signal distribution company, without the knowledge of this company which is not considered a legitimate distributor in Canada.
On December 15, the Canada Border Services Agency seized 18 decoding cards from this American satellite signal distributor under the Customs Act. The CBSA Investigations Division launched an investigation into allegations of fraud and searched the suspect’s residence on February 15. The items found during this search included envelopes from the American distributor addressed to a post office box in the United States, antennas used to pick up satellite signals and a number of credit card statements.
The case was then referred to the RCMP and the Federal Investigation Section conducted an investigation and searched the Montreal-based business on Tuesday.
Distribution, theft or piracy of satellite signals remain serious crimes in Canada, punishable under the Radiocommunication Act.
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Cpl. Luc Bessette
Montréal : (514) 939-8308
Canada Border Services Agency