Two convicted for illegal sale of DSTV signals
Published on 09/09/2010
By Wahome Thuku
Police in Nairobi have dismantled a racket involving illegal connection and distribution of signals belonging to a broadcasting firm.
Two men involved in the scheme were on Thursday charged and fined Sh800,000 or face two years in jail. They were convicted after accepting the charges.
The racket, which has been flourishing in several city estates, entails linking numerous homes to a few legally acquired satellite dishes to enable beneficiaries illegally access paid up services.
One satellite dish is illegally connected to more than 200 households at a fee of Sh1,000 per month each.
The two men, Habane Mohammed Abdi and Addirizak Mohammed Gelle were arrested for distributing DSTV signals in Eastleigh area in the outskirts of the city centre and infringing on the copyright of Multichoice Kenya.
They were arrested on Wednesday at Eastleigh Sixth Street, 2nd Avenue where they had linked two satellite dishes to more than seven blocks of residential flats.
Investigators traced numerous cables running from one house to various adjacent premises.
They entered the house and arrested the two men, one of whom was not a Kenyan. They also recovered two satellite dishes, 23 decoders, video disc players, amplifiers, nine modulators, 19 remote controllers, a TV set and other related gadgets.
The two were charged before Principle Magistrate Grace Macharia with two counts of distributing infringed broadcast signals and being in possession of equipment for the transmission, contrary to the Copyright Act.
They pleaded guilty and asked the court for leniency. But Ms Macharia said the offence was serious as the accused were harvesting where they did not sow. She ordered each to pay Sh200,000 for each count.