Wednesday, June 5, 2024

MultiChoice stings Waka TV, investigating 'thousands of individuals' connected to one of Africa's most extensive pirate streaming operations.

by Thinus Ferreira

Following a "meticulously planned raid" on 31 May as part of a sting operation with Western Cape police investigators, MultiChoice and its IT-security subsidiary Irdeto are busy fishing out "thousands of individuals"connected to the Waka TV pirate internet streaming service described as one of the most extensive in Africa.

MultiChoice calls the Waka TV sting operation in South Africa "a significant victory in the fight against internet streaming piracy", noting that Friday's raid netted and led to the arrest "of a key suspect involved in one of the most extensive pirate operations in Africa".

The suspected TV streaming pirate appeared in court on Monday and has been charged with both fraud and of contravening sections 2 to 8 of South Africa's Cybercrimes Act. MultiChoice says more arrests will take place very soon.

"This operation represents a major milestone in our relentless commitment to protecting MultiChoice Group's content and the integrity of our broadcasting services," the Randburg-based pay-TV provider says.

"The suspect, who is believed to have managed several pirate customers and resellers, was detained with Waka TV that illegally distributed live TV channels - including several DStv channels, movies and series. The disruption caused by this raid is a significant blow to the illegal streaming industry in Africa."

"MultiChoice is working actively with the police as investigations continue into the thousands of individuals connected to the Waka TV pirate network. Resellers supporting the pirate operation are also under investigation. This collaborative effort aims to dismantle the entire network and bring all perpetrators to justice."

According to MultiChoice, the police's Cybercrime Unit will analyse all equipment seized during Friday's raid with "The comprehensive analysis expected to provide additional insights into the extent of the pirate network, and more arrests are imminent".

"MultiChoice would like to extend our deepest gratitude to the Cybercrime Unit and the Western Cape provincial commercial crime investigation unit for their outstanding support and professionalism throughout this operation. Their efforts have been crucial in achieving this significant breakthrough".