Brothers Kamran Hussain aged 24 and Qurban Hussain aged 31, appeared at Southwark Crown Court alongside Idris Wahid aged 26, Ifzal Uddin aged 27 and Iqbal Khan aged 29, who all pleaded guilty to handling stolen vehicles on 29 November.
K. Hussain and Q. Hussain, the leaders of the conspiracy, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to handle stolen motor vehicles on 29 November.
The Metropolitan Police Service’s Stolen Vehicle Unit launched a proactive intelligence led investigation into the men in 2007 after the theft of a number of high value vehicles such as Mercedes and BMWs in and around London.
Enquiries revealed that between 16 March 2007 and 15 May 2007, 22 stolen cars were taken to a garage on a trading estate in Edmonton where their identities were changed. A second car ringing premises was found in Tilbury, Essex a few months later where a further four cars were ‘rung’.
The cars were all stolen from London, the Home Counties and Essex. They were taken from houses during burglaries. Once the cars had been ‘rung’, the gang would use them in a number of ways. They would either, keep the cars for themselves, sell them to unsuspecting members of the public in the UK or sell them to other fraudsters.
The gang pleaded guilty to making £400,000 in the space of 18 months from their lucrative illegal business.
The method they used to change the vehicles’ identities was to check Cypriot car sale websites for cars that had legitimately been exported to Cyprus. Many of those cars advertised for sale on the websites still had UK number plates. They would then use these number plates to give one of their stolen cars a new identity as they knew that those cars would not be on UK roads and would therefore not be noticed by police.
As part of the investigation officers travelled to Cyprus in 2008, to examine some of the genuine vehicles which bore the same number plates as the cloned cars back in the UK. This process, although complex and time consuming, resulted in solid evidence against the gang as officers were able to confirm that the cars in Cyprus were genuine and that the cars in the UK had been tampered with.
K. Hussain and Q. Hussain were arrested on 2 August 2007, at their home in East Ham, on suspicion of conspiracy to handle stolen motor vehicles. Searches of this address revealed a ringing kit and log books relating to the stolen cars and the identities the cars were to be changed to.
Idris Wahid, Ifzal Uddin and Iqbal Khan were arrested between 18 July 2007 and 6 November 2008 on suspicion of handling stolen motor vehicles.
Detective Sergeant Pete Ellis, from 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."
Confiscation proceedings will now begin against those sentenced today.
Kamran Hussain aged 24 (dob – 21.07.86) of Compton Ave, East Ham pleaded guilty to conspiracy to handle stolen motor vehicles on 29 November. He was sentenced to two and a half years in prison.
Qurban Hussain aged 31 (dob – 10.03.79) of Compton Ave, East Ham pleaded guilty to conspiracy to handle stolen motor vehicles on 29 November. He was sentenced to two and a half years in prison.
Idris Wahid aged 26 (dob – 20.01.84) of GlenwoodGardens, Ilford pleaded guilty to five counts of handling stolen motor vehicles on 29 November. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison.
Ifzal Uddin aged 27 (dob – 03.11.83) of Coppermill Lane, Walthamstow pleaded guilty to seven counts of handling stolen motor vehicles on 29 November. He was sentenced to two years in prison.
Iqbal Khan aged 29 (dob – 26.6.81) of Queens Road, Walthamstow pleaded guilty to three counts of handling stolen motor vehicles on 29 November. He was sentenced to 51 weeks in prison suspended for 12 months. He was also ordered to do 200 hours of unpaid work with a curfew imposed for three months. The curfew dictates that he must be at home between 11pm and 6am every night.