The Swedish Tax Agency’s report on illegal IPTV shows gigantic amounts and criminal networks

Last week, the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket) released a report regarding illegal IPTV. For the first time, they have investigated income from sales of illegal IPTV. The report shows that illegal IPTV is organized crime that generates huge, untaxed revenue for criminals. Eighty completed investigations against Swedish retailers have led to SEK 37 million in imposed tax. More investigations are still ongoing.

The Tax Agency are good at tracking cryptocurrencies, allowing them to track buyers and sellers. Several investigations have resulted in criminal reports to the Swedish Economic Crime Authority.

– The dealers do not usually have a company and do not declare any commission-based income, says Marcus Pettersson, control coordinator at the Swedish Tax Agency. In our investigations, we have met ordinary Swedish men who sit on the Spanish sun coast or in Thailand and earn their pension by illegally selling TV channels. But the most common is that they sell from Sweden.

The Tax Agency’s control covers unreported income of large amounts. A typical retailer has an annual income between SEK 500,000 and one million. In 2018, according to EUIPO, the Swedish illegal IPTV market was estimated to have a turnover of over SEK 550,000,000. Since then, the market and the amounts have increased.

– So we are talking about gigantic amounts, says Marcus Pettersson. Many consumers simply pay via Swish to a crypto exchanger who then sends bitcoin to the bitcoin address belonging to the seller. All to reduce traceability between buyers and sellers. In the end, most of it ends up in the pockets of global criminal networks, which also deal with drugs, smuggling, prostitution and much more.

See the Tax Agency’s press release and report here.

The Rights Alliance comments on the Tax Agency’s report in the media:

– The report shows that Sweden is particularly affected by this type of organized crime, which generates many millions straight into the pockets of criminals. The crimes affect creators, taxpayers and society and must be stopped.

The Rights Alliance believes urgent actions are needed to stop the illegal services’ access to Swedish consumers.

– It is time for the government to give an authority the task of blocking these sites. Administrative blocking, as it is called, is used successfully in, for example, Italy and France, says Sara Lindbäck.

Publicerad: 2023-12-05