BRITISH expats on Spain’s Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca are fearing a TV blackout during the Covid-19 lockdown.
That follows a major National Police operation running for nearly a year to smash an illegal network which streamed programmes to at least 15,000 viewers across Spain.
Closed groups on social media sites were used to promote the services, and the police swooped to make seven arrests across the country.
The gang operated ‘under the radar’ as an unregistered business to avoid paying tax, in contrast to many legal TV and telecommunications providers offering services to British people and other nationalities across Spain.
The ring-leaders of the undeclared company were arrested in Zamora and Salamanca.
Other detentions were made at Benalmádena, Córdoba, and three in the Valencia area at Puerto de Sagunto and Oliva.
The gang were charged with breaking copyright laws and telecommunications fraud.
Home searches uncovered seven gold bars weighing 20 grams each, as well as nearly €11,000 in cash and a range of technical equipment.
The raids and arrests were carried out in two phases in February and March, but the National Police have only just made their operation public.
Registered and legal businesses telecommunications companies in Spain have said that their services will continue as normal, and that viewers should relax and carry on enjoying their favourite TV programmes at this difficult time.
Their advice is to always go with well-advertised firms that are trading legally in Spain, and not to be hood-winked by offers that are ‘too good to be true’ on social media sites.