Two Indian-origin men in the UK were sent to prison after pleading guilty to a multi-million-pound scam that enabled thousands of people to get subscription television for free.
Manish Javahar was sentenced to 21 months in jail and Bobby Bhairon was handed a 19-month sentence which has been suspended for two years, at Leicester Crown Court this week.
The sentence of the two men follows the arrest and conviction of six others last year in relation to a conspiracy to defraud Virgin Media cable TV provider, the Leicester Mercury reported.
The mastermind Mahesh Tailor and others – including Jagdish Vegad and Jitech Racicchandra – were sentenced in August last year, closing an investigation by Leicestershire Police.
Police said Tailor, 51, the owner of Tailor Made Circuits, a printed circuit board manufacturer, found a way to get around the encryption for cable TV channels supplied by Virgin Media.
The evidence found that he imported set-top boxes from the Far East and sold them across the country, using a network of people to assist him.
The boxes allowed access to a network with servers overseas which allowed owners in England to receive channels via the internet, without paying a subscription to Virgin Media.
"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 pounds in cash in various rooms. There were similar amounts held in his business bank accounts," Detective Constable Amrat Bhagwan of Leicestershire Police, who investigated the case, said.
"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 said.
Others convicted and sentenced were Nicholas Beck, Mark Weighill and Andrew Wren.