THREE MEN SUSPECTED OF STEALING SATELLITE
SIGNALS ARRESTED BY THE RCMP
Montréal, May 3, 2007 – On Wednesday, investigators of
the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Federal Investigation Section,
arrested three men suspected of stealing and illegally selling
satellite television signals.
The investigation, dubbed operation “Costume”, also resulted in the
search of two places of business and three places of residence. The
investigators seized a number of items, including a 2006 Nissan 350Z
motor vehicle and material that may have been used to steal satellite
on photos to enlarge)
Through operation “Costume”, the investigators intend to demonstrate
that the suspects modified and sold decoders for the purpose of
illegally accessing television channels. The alleged fraudsters invited
potential clients to place orders through a Web site. It is also
suspected that they occasionally gave their clients instructions on how
to modify the receivers to unlawfully intercept satellite signals.
”We believe that the alleged fraudsters invited consumers to their
residences to pick up the illegal material required to decode satellite
signals, and charged them approximately $250 per receiver. Since it is
estimated that they had nearly 2,000 clients, we can infer that the
broadcasting industry lost approximately $1,200,000 in legitimate
subscriptions annually. In fact, some clients could also be
prosecuted,” says Corporal Luc Bessette of the RCMP Communications
The men arrested could face several charges, including modifying and
selling equipment contrary to the Radiocommunication Act. They could
also be charged with theft of satellite signals and possession of
device to obtain telecommunication facility or service under the
Criminal Code of Canada. Any person found guilty of such offences is
liable to imprisonment for a maximum of two years.
Four Persons Arrested in One Month
This investigation is the result of joint efforts by the investigators
of Montreal RCMP Federal Investigation Section, Industry Canada and
Bell Express Vu.
The RCMP and Industry Canada will continue to pursue appropriate action
to enforce federal laws pertaining to illegal business practices such
as fraud and theft of telecommunications. Two weeks ago, another man
alleged to have stolen satellite signals was arrested in the Sherbrooke
region. The theft of satellite signals accounts for losses estimated at
more than 300 million dollars annually for the Canadian economy.
The RCMP and Industry Canada take this opportunity to promote public
awareness of this social evil and to encourage electronic equipment
retailers and consumers to refrain from engaging in this illegal trade.
Corporal Luc Bessette