Cable TV

Indian DTH equipments worth Rs 7.83 cr seized by Pakistan authorities

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MUMBAI: Pakistan authorities have seized a large quantity of smuggled Indian direct-to-home (DTH) equipment worth Rs 7.83 crore from various markets in a countrywide crackdown against illegal devices according to a report published by dawn.com. The report, in line with a suo motu case relating to easy availability of Indian DTH or magic box in the Pakistani market, was submitted to the Supreme Court on Wednesday.

The Customs Department and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) arrested 39 people and 30 FIRs had been lodged during the crackdown and was informed to a two-judge bench headed by Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan.

The report was furnished before the apex court through Additional Attorney General Nayyar Abbas Rizvi, stating that the nationwide enforcement operations has ended the commercial sale and availability of smuggled DTH equipment in the local markets.

The apex court had constituted a committee during the last hearing, which consists of member (customs), the FIA's additional director general and a member of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) to find out the source of smuggled goods and to take steps to curb the smuggling.

The report recalled that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has also enhanced enforcement measures adopted by the customs field formations which resulted in seizures of goods and other contraband items, including DTH equipment worth Rs 2480 crore during 2017-18.

However, the report conceded that mere enforcement measures would not be sufficient to completely root out the transportation or availability of DTH equipment used for illegal broadcasting of Indian content in the country. Therefore, a holistic strategy needs to be worked out by all agencies/regulators to address this issue.

The report pointed out that, in the absence of local DTH, the subscribers were opting for other illegal means, which include Indian DTH services. However, the report called for support from the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority for blocking the internet protocols addresses of the websites which were either running the illegal C-Line/CC-CAM or advertising the illegal Indian DTH in Pakistan. 

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