NCC Clamps down on TV Signals Theft, Arrests Two

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Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the country’s regulatory authority for the telecommunications industry, yesterday raided illegal operators of broadcast signals in Bayelsa State.

Officials of the agency noted that the measure was to check the proliferation of such illegal activities which it said abound in many parts of the state, particularly in Yenagoa, the state capital.

Yesterday’s operation, it was learnt, was a continuation of the commission’s recent raids on some operators who steal the signals of satellite broadcast companies and sell to members of the public at cheaper rates.

A team of the commission led by its Head of Enforcement, Port Harcourt Zonal Office, Nkechi Ezinwa, arrested two suspects during the surveillance operations in the state.

The commission noted that its action followed frequent complaints from service providers including MultiChoice over the illegal tapping of their broadcast signals, which has resulted in financial losses to the organisation.

The two suspects were each arrested at La Gold Street, off Azikoro Road and Lagos Sand Street, off Diepreye Alamieyeseigha Road in Yenagoa.

During the operation, the NCC also seized many decoders, several smart cards, satellite dishes, several cables of wire, and booklets of receipts, which had been issued to subscribers.
The suspects were thereafter taken to the ‘A’ Division of the Nigeria Police Force in Yenagoa for interrogation and an inventory of the impounded items.

Ezinwa said the NCC would sustain the raid in Bayelsa and warned those patronising illegal operators to desist as it has a negative impact on the economy.

She added that the commission was determined to carry out its mandate to protect intellectual property by ensuring that those who infringed on the right of stakeholders were dealt with according to the law.