News

R v Zinga & Others
29.6.2011

David Groome and Ari Alibhai successfully prosecuted three men who took part in a massive fraud by selling set-top boxes which allowed people unlawful free access to Virgin Media’s cable television channels.  The men manufactured, imported and supplied more than 400,000 set-top boxes across the UK during a three-and-a-half-year operation, a jury at Snaresbrook Crown Court was told.  The scam, described as the largest commercial fraud to have been prosecuted in the UK, is thought to have cost Virgin Media some £144 million a year.

Munaf Ahmed Zinga, who traded the Eurovox branded set-top boxes through his business Rayyonics Ltd, got an eight-year sentence. His assistant, Mukandun Pillai, 39, was jailed for six years.  The third man, Salim Patel, was jailed for 12 months. He had earlier pleaded guilty to his part in the conspiracy by working as a delivery driver for the company, transporting the set-top boxes to suppliers and collecting cash in return.

Virgin Media, which brought the private prosecutions following a large-scale joint operation with the Metropolitan Police at Redbridge, Essex, and New Scotland Yard was represented by a team from media law firm Wiggin led by solicitor Neil Parkes, who instructed specialist counsel David Groome and Ari Alibhai.

 

David Groome | Ari Alibhai

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