Two Asian men jailed for defrauding Virgin Media

Lakh Baddhan

Senior Editor


Two men from the Midlands have been handed a prison sentence over a conspiracy to defraud Virgin Media.

Manish Javahar from Harrison Road, Leicester and Bobby Bhairon from Owenford Road, Coventry, pleaded guilty. They have been imprisoned for 21 and 19 months respectively. Six others were sentenced last August.

According to ITV, Javahar was found guilty of breaking the encryption model on Virgin Media’s subscription channels. He imported thousands of set-top boxes from the Far East and sold them for up to £180 each on various online forums.

The report adds that Leicestershire Police recovered a container with 5,000 set-top boxes inside and it’s believed that Tailor had already sold multiple similar consignments.

Detective Constable Amrat Bhagwan told the website, “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. There were similar amounts held in his business bank accounts. The boxes were imported from the Far East and documentation showed that Tailor claimed that they were satellite receivers and even paid importation tax on them. He did everything in his power to stop himself appearing on the radar.”

A Virgin Media spokesperson added, “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. Furthermore, by installing an illegitimate box to any Virgin Media connection a customer is breaking the terms of their contract. We and others in the industry will do all we can to combat this.”