Search

11 jailed after East Ham racket discovery

PUBLISHED: 17:01 04 January 2016 | UPDATED: 09:35 05 January 2016

Eleven people were sentenced to a total of 30 years in prison following a British Transport Police investigation into stolen mobile phones on the London Underground network

Eleven people were sentenced to a total of 30 years in prison following a British Transport Police investigation into stolen mobile phones on the London Underground network

Archant

A criminal gang believed to have made £5m from stolen goods has been sentenced to a total of 30 years behind bars.

The ring was shut down last year after an operation sparked by mobile phone theft on public transport led to the discovery of a racket in East Ham in July 2013.

There officers from British Transport Police found a business selling mobile phones stolen from the rail network.

More than two years later, Operation Park has now resulted in the sentencing of 11 people, found guilty of conspiracy to handle stolen goods and money laundering offences.

The case was heard over two trials, both at Blackfriars Crown Court, between July and December last year.

Following the East Ham raid, officers found a storage facility in Southall home to a sophisticated business operation, earning on average £10,000 a day.

Later, in September of the same year, 32 warrants were executed and a number of raids on private and commercial properties were carried out.

Thirteen people were arrested, £143,000 in cash and over 1,100 pieces of property were seized and a substantial amount of stolen phones recovered.

At one address, officers seized more than £23,000 which had been hidden in different rooms of the house, including inside a child’s jacket.

“This was a long and complex investigation into a highly organised criminal gang who used stolen property from the rail network for their personal gain,” said Det Chief Insp John Justice.

“To truly tackle theft, we can’t just catch pickpockets and petty thieves, we have to also dismantle the criminal networks behind them, who profit from this type of crime.

“Phones are often stolen out of view of CCTV in crowded carriages or busy stations without the owner even realising.

“This makes it hard for us to catch thieves in the act and even when we do, we often find they are only small players in much bigger criminal organisations.”

The conspirators were aged between 20 and 55, and lived in Northolt, Hounslow, Harrow, Brentwood, Southall and Leyton. A total of 100 officers were involved in the operation.

Det Chief Insp Justice added:

“This investigation shows how tirelessly we will work to bring these people before the courts and I welcome the sentences handed down to the defendants.”

Full list of names and sentences:

Top row - from left to right

1) Name: Ranjit Banger

Age: 31

From: Selby Gardens, Southall

Sentence: 3 years imprisonment for conspiracy to handle stolen goods and 3 years for conspiracy to money launder. Sentences to run concurrently.

2) Name: Nirmohan Singh

Age: 38

From: Harrow

Sentence: 2 years imprisonment for conspiracy to handle stolen goods

3) Name: Nirmohan Bhatia

Age: 20

From: Northolt

Sentence: 2 years imprisonment for conspiracy to handle stolen goods, 18 months for conspiracy to money launder. Sentences to run concurrently

4) Name: Nawid Moshfiq

Age: 39

From: Brentford

Sentence: 5 years imprisonment for conspiracy to handle stolen goods, 3 years imprisonment for conspiracy to money launder and 18 months imprisonment for possession of criminal property. Sentences to run concurrently.

5) Name: Mubarak Korasi

Age: 41

From: Southall

Sentence: 2 years 6 Months imprisonment for conspiracy to handle stolen goods, 18 months for conspiracy to money launder and 12 months for possession of criminal property. Sentences to run concurrently.

6) Name: Ariji Singh Sethi

Age: 43

From: Hounslow

Sentence: 2 years and six months imprisonment for conspiracy to handle stolen goods and 2 years and 6 months for conspiracy to money launder. Sentences to run concurrently.

BOTTOM ROW, from left to right

7) Name: Pritbal Bhatia

Age: 55

From: Northolt

Sentence: 3 years imprisonment for conspiracy to handle stolen goods

8) Name: Harmeet Bhatia

Age: 24

From: Northolt

Sentence: 3 years imprisonment for conspiracy to handle stolen goods and 18 months for conspiracy to money launder. Sentences to run concurrently.

9) Name: Paramijit Singh Karla

Age: 42

From: Northolt

Sentence: 3 years imprisonment for conspiracy to handle stolen goods and 3 years for conspiracy to money launder. Sentences to run concurrently.

10) Name: Olia Moshfiq

Age: 36

From: Brentford

Sentence: 2 years imprisonment for conspiracy to money launder and 18 months imprisoment for possession of criminal property. Sentences to run concurrently.

11) Name: Ahmed Raza

Age: 28

From: Leyton

Sentence: 2 years and six motnhs imprisonment for conspiracy to handle stolen goods and 2 years and 6 months for conspiracy to money launder. Sentences to run concurrently.

Related articles

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Newham Recorder

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists