Thursday, March 19, 2009

39 Brazilian Milsatcom Pirates Arrested

According to Paulo T and the Hearsat newsgroup, a major bust has occured down in Brazil. For many years pirates have hijacked transponders on the various military UHF satellites for their own use. I have received hundreds of reports on these illegal operations over the last couple of decades. And now for the first time DoD has struck back to gain control of their radio assets.

Paulo T posted the following to Hearsat yesterday afternoon:
"It came to my attention that our brazilian friends on Fleetsat and UFO frequencies got a nasty surprise today, from their federal police and Brazil´s comunications authority.

"According to the news, 39 persons got busted, one was arrested and large amounts of equipement seized. All of them are licenced amateur radio operators whose operating location was determined by the U.S. Department of Defense, in cooperation with Brazilian federal police and other U.S. agencies. Besides all of these equipment seizures, the authorities have identified the manufacturers of some of the hardware used, one of them actually was arrested."

Some links, in Portuguese for now:,apreendidos-aparelhos-de-comunicacao-ilegal-por-satelite,340892,0.htm,id_sessao=2&id_noticia=103003/em_noticia_interna.shtml

My thanks to Paulo and Hearsat for passing along this interesting story.