"Piracy represents a threat to Britain’s world-beating creative industries."
Two Asian men will go to jail for their involvement in a cable TV scam. Manish Javahar and Bobby Bhairon became involved in the multi-million pound scam where they allowed thousands of TV viewers to watch Virgin Media for free.
The judge delivered the verdict on 30th March 2017. Both men had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud Virgin Media. Manish Javahar received a jail sentence of 21 months.
Meanwhile, Bobby Bhairon received a 19-month sentence, suspended for two years.
Leicestershire Police charged the men in August 2016, where they also arrested six other men. Javahar and Bhairon were the last to receive their sentences.
The reported “mastermind” of the cable TV scam, identified as Mahesh Tailor received a six-year sentence in August 2016.
Throughout the case, the court heard how Mahesh Tailor created the cable TV scam by importing set-top boxes from the Far East. He reportedly sold them across the UK, helped by others.
The set-top boxes contained an encryption, which allowed them to communicate overseas. Therefore, customers could access Virgin Media subscription channels through the internet, allowing them to watch the channels for free.
Police also revealed how they discovered a container, holding 5,000 set-top boxes inside. They also found that Mahesh Tailor contacted customers through internet forums. He even designed a website for the cable TV scam.
Detective Constable Amrat Bhagwan, the investigator, said: “This was a lengthy and complex investigation which saw officers being deployed at various locations across the country to take the network down and render the boxes useless.
“When we raided Tailor’s home, we found £250,000 in cash in various rooms.”
A spokesperson for Virgin Media has also commented on the case. They said: “Virgin Media has a zero tolerance approach to piracy and we thank Leicestershire Police for continuing to crack down on this criminal activity.
“Set-top box piracy is not a victimless crime. Piracy represents a threat to Britain’s world-beating creative industries and harms the vast majority of honest, bill-paying customers.”
With the remaining members of this cable TV scam now sentenced, the investigation ends. Yet, police will ensure similar cases like this will be prevented.