1st October 2001

A computer shop in the Thanet area of Kent was raided by the Tactical Unit of Kent Constabulary supported by FACT (Federation Against Copyright Theft) on 24th September.

During the raid police seized a number of items including a number of pirate cards and a computer, together with a card programmer, which will be subject to detailed forensic examination This equipment was capable of producing pirate ITV Digital viewing smart cards. A man will be questioned by police later this week.

In a linked raid a man and his wife from the same area of North Kent were arrested and taken into custody for conspiracy to defraud. A pirate smartcard was found in the slot of their set top box. Both have been released on bail pending further enquiries.

A 50 year old man in Forest Gate, East London will be summonsed by FACT with criminal offences, under the Copyright Designs and Patents Act, following the discovery of printed circuit board type pirate viewing cards at his home address during a police search with a search warrant by police officers attached to the Proactive Squad at Forest Gate police station.

Court Case

Four men, two from Leicester and two from Kent, appeared at Medway Magistrates Court on Thursday 27 September facing charges of conspiracy to cheat and defraud, by the sale and production of devices that would allow access to the programmes of ITV Digital and also of cable companies. They sold their products over the internet. They were sent for trial at Maidstone Crown Court. The fact that they will be tried in the Crown Court indicates the seriousness of the charges.