01:38PM, Monday 06 November 2017
A Stoke Poges man has been ordered to repay hundreds of thousands of pounds for exporting high value cars to East Africa.
Mahmood Khalid, 39, of Duffield Lane, Stoke Poges, a leading member of an organised crime group, was convicted of conspiracy to steal motor vehicles in 2014.
The most recent confiscation order was made at Salisbury Crown Court on Friday where he was ordered to pay £407,619.60 in compensation, to be paid within three months, with a prison sentence of four years if he fails to do so.
This follows a sentence of six years and four months imprisonment given to him in July 2014 for his part in the conspiracy.
Ifran Rehman, 44, of New Bedford Road, Luton, was also convicted and was ordered to pay £25,500 on June 9, following a jail sentence of three years and nine months given in July 2014.
Amran Iqbal, 39, of Derby Road, Beeston, Nottinghamshire, was found guilty by a jury of conspiracy to steal vehicles and was jailed for three years.
They were caught following a Thames Valley Police (TVP) investigation, codenamed Operation Sorrel, into the theft of high value motor vehicles and their export via Antwerp to East Africa, where they were sold as new cars.
The cars were mostly Range Rover models such as Vogue, Sport and Evoque worth at least £50,000 each. Others included top-end Mercedes and BMW models, a Mercedes McLaren and a Bentley Continental.
There was evidence that more than 30 cars had been stolen or targeted by the gang.
The series of thefts relied on vehicles having ‘keyless access systems’ which allows the ignition to be started with a push button when a key fob is within the car.
If the car was accessed, thieves could download its security settings and create a third key fob. They then would fit trackers which enabled them to steal the cars at a chosen time and location.
Philip Croxson of the Economic Crime Unit of TVP said: “This has been a difficult and long drawn out investigation.
“Car theft is by no means a victimless crime, as the cost is either borne by ordinary members of the public through higher insurance premiums or directly by the victims.
“Thames Valley Police will always strive to recover assets for the victims of crime whenever possible using the powerful legislation available.”
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