Two suspects have been arrested for DSTV broadcast piracy in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
The suspects, 35-year-old Benson James and one Mr. Clifford, were apprehended at La Gold Road, off Azikoro Road, and Lagos Sand Road off Diepreye Alamieyeseigha Road, respectively.
According to reports, armed policemen, accompanied by a Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) team led by the Head of Enforcement of the Port Harcourt Zonal Office, Nkechi O. Ezinma, cordoned off the two areas during the operation.
At Mr. James’s residence on La Gold Road, the NCC impounded fifteen decoders, several smart cards, five satellite dishes, several cables of wire, and three booklets of receipts, which had been issued to subscribers.
Mrs. Ezinma said the NCC intelligence team had carried out surveillance operations to identify illegal operators in Bayelsa State following complaints from Multi-Choice over the illegal operation of their broadcast signals.
“When stakeholders’ intellectual rights are infringed upon, they usually complain to NCC. So this is what Multi-Choice did on the illegal use of their broadcast signal,” Mes. Enzinma explained.
“We carried out our own investigation through surveillance. After that, we discovered that there were some illegal operators in Bayelsa State that staked smart cards and used them to transmit signals to many subscribers after collecting money. We identified two areas and arrested two suspects and made some seizures. The suspects have been taken to the police and after investigations are complete, they will be brought to court,” she said.
Mrs. Ezinwa, who expressed optimism that the NCC would sustain the raid in Bayelsa State, warned people patronizing illegal operators to desist from the act as it has a negative impact on the economy.
According to her, the NCC is determined to execute its mandate to protect intellectual property by ensuring those that infringe on the right of stakeholders are dealt with in line with the law.
Investigations revealed that the two suspects were moved to A Division, where police officers took inventory of impounded items and commenced interrogation of the suspects.