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Gulf : Passports seized in Dish TV crackdown on illegal satellite television

Passports seized in Dish TV crackdown

Passports of two Indian expats confiscated in anti-piracy crackdown on illegal satellite television

DUBAI: Passports of residents using illegal decoders are being confiscated in a crackdown on satellite TV piracy, sending shivers down the spine of many Asian residents who have Dish TV at home, XPRESS has learnt.

A few days before the crackdown, warnings were posted at the entrances of some buildings in Bur Dubai and Karama, though not all the building residents were aware of the magnitude of the offence and the penalties.

Passports and Dish TV decoders of at least two Indian expatriates were confiscated in one building in Bur Dubai, XPRESS can confirm. "We were not aware that this would cause us big trouble," said the resident who confirmed his passport was confiscated, but requested that his name remain anonymous.

"My husband is now under a lot of pressure because of this," said a housewife in Bur Dubai. "He's really depressed about the whole thing. We are simple families. My husband had been told he needs to get a clearance from the courts to have his passport back, but at this point, we really don't know what will happen next."

Another family member on Wednesday said the passports were seized ten days ago, adding: "We don't know who seized the passports. We just gave it. They said a call will come."

It is not clear who confiscated the passports as both the police and Department of Economic Development (DED) denied they had anything to do with the sweep. "Dubai Police did not confiscate any passports, and it did not initiate any crackdown of this sort," said Major Rashid Bin Safwan, the head of CID media. "DED staff didn't confiscate Dish boxes in two flats in Bur Dubai," a DED spokesperson e-mailed XPRESS. Tens of thousands of homes in the UAE, especially among people from India and Pakistan, are believed to be tapping signals using illegal satellite TV decoders.

Illegal set-top boxes allow viewers access to Dish TV, Tata Sky, Sun Direct and similar services that include about 200 television channels
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What a shocking news ! Danger alert for all those using Indian DTH outside India !!

A Dangerous situation there. With arms of law is very strict there, it is going to be tough to get out of this problem, if caught.!!?

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