Police have seized dozens of pieces of illegal television equipment in the latest series of raids on content piracy operations.
The recent operation in Harare saw eight retail outlets being raided. Police confiscated 72 OVHD decoders, 95 counterfeit DStv power supply units, 203 counterfeit DStv remote controls, as well as five receipt books.
The raids follow other operations earlier this year, in which 11 people were arrested and dozens of illegal decoders seized. The operations are part of a concerted clampdown on decoder smuggling and other forms of content piracy.
Antonio Lee, CEO of Openview parent company eMedia Group said they are excited about the latest breakthrough.
“Police are having success in breaking up decoder smuggling operations and arresting their local associates, who are bringing Openview OVHD decoders from South Africa into Zimbabwe, in contravention of customs, trademark and copyright laws.
“Raids and seizures are happening across the SADC region, as part of a broader piracy crackdown,” Lee said.
“Coming on the heels of the earlier busts, it shows that we are turning the tide on the illegal decoder trade and content theft. We are grateful to have the Zimbabwe Republic Police as our partners in this war on piracy,” added Lee.
He went on to advise retailers who sell the set-top boxes outside of designated countries and other counterfeit products that they are guilty of crimes of content piracy – the unauthorised duplication and sale of copyrighted content.
“Anyone purchasing these products in Zimbabwe is robbing the country of customs duties and Zimbabwe’s TV professionals suffer when viewers watch foreign content instead of home-made Zimbabwean shows.”
Illegal decoders are a form of grey-market content piracy, which involves distributing and selling a product or a service outside the geographical area where it is licensed.
Authorities have made it clear in the past few weeks that piracy in the country shall not be tolerated and organisations or individuals who participate in pirate activities will be prosecuted.