Brothers jailed for car theft and ringing scam

AN East London gang of Mercedes and BMW “car ringers” have been jailed for a total of eight and a half years.

The five men gave stolen motors new identities from vehicles that had been exported to Cyprus.

They kept the best cars for themselves, Southwark Crown Court heard.

Quarban Hussain, 31, and his brother Kamran, 24, from East Ham, rented two sites in Edmonton, North London and another near to Tilbury Docks in Essex, where work on the cars was carried out.

They took details of legitimately registered UK cars which had been shipped abroad and used the Vehicle Identification Number to clone them.

Kamran had admitted processing 19 cars worth around �265,600, while his brother also said he was only involved with 19 vehicles worth �284,675.

Ben Douglas-Jones, prosecuting: “That’s the bottom book value, so the lowest value that could be attributed to cars of that age.”

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Among the cars stolen were a Mercedes CLS350 worth �32,875, stolen from its owner in Romford, Essex; a �30,300 Mercedes S320 CDi thieved in Croydon and a BMW 318Ci Coupe worth �8,075 taken from Twickenham.

Three other men from Walthamstow, Idris Wahid, 26, Ifzal Uddin, 27, and Iqbal Khan, 29, also admitted charges of handling stolen goods.

The group were prosecuted over cars that were processed for re-sale at the site, worth a total of �374,025.

Judge John Price said: “In essence, this was a car-ringing exercise.

“Cars were stolen, and false codes are provided, VIN numbers are changed, and they are put back on the market.

“Mr Kamran Hussain and Quarban Hussain are regarded as the lieutenants in that there were people further up the chain who are yet to be arrested who are more involved in the planning side; the Hussain brothers had two sites.

“The co-defendants acted in a different way but all assisted in the handling of these stolen goods.”

Quarban Hussain, of Romford, and Kamran, of Compton Avenue, were each given 30 months jail for their part in the conspiracy.

Uddin admitted seven counts of handling stolen goods in relation to five cars worth �120,000 together, all of which were processed at the Anthony Way site during the first half of 2007.

He was sentenced to two years months in prison, after the court was told he apparently gained “no real benefit” from his part in the scam.

Wahid admitted five counts of handling stolen goods, involving five cars worth �101,000, and was sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Judge Price noted he had been assisting at a “low level’, including carrying out manual work and running errands.

Khan, who carried out manual work on three of the cars, admitted three counts of handling stolen goods, and was the only one of the group to escape prison.

Judge Price said: “You knew what was going on but you are at the lowest level in this.”

Khan was sentenced to 51 weeks prison, suspended for six months, and was also required to carry out 200 hours of unpaid works and obey a curfew between 11pm and 6am.

A confiscation hearing will take place next year to try to recover some of the cash made by the group.

Detective Sergeant Pete Ellis, from Scotland Yard’s the Economic and Specialist Crime Command, said: “This was a long and complex investigation where our officers, who are experts in vehicle identification, had to examine a large number of vehicles to build up enough evidence to convict this network of criminals.

“These men had no regard for those innocent members of the public who were buying stolen vehicles from them. I would urge anyone thinking of buying a car to carry out due diligence checks and thorough research before handing over their hard earned cash to a stranger.”