Sudbury man jailed for role in gang behind £5m stolen phones racket
PUBLISHED: 18:44 04 January 2016 | UPDATED: 09:36 05 January 2016
A Sudbury man has been jailed for his role in a £5million racket which racked in £10,000-a-day by selling mobile phones stolen from Tube passengers.
The other defendants
Nawid Moshfiq, 39, Olia Moshfiq, 38, from Brentford, Harmeet Bhatia, 24, Pritbal Bhatia, 55, Nirmohan Bhatia, 20,
Paramijit Singh Karla, 42, from Northolt, Ranjit Banger, 31, Mubarak Korasi, 41, from Southall, Ariji Singh Sethi, 43, from Hounslow, and 28-year-old Ahmed Raza from Leyton.
Nirmohan Singh, 38, of Sudbury Court Drive, was part of an 11-strong criminal gang who played a part in selling on the handsets from a business in East Ham.
When officers busted their network they seized £143,000 in cash including £23,000 at one property which had been hidden inside a child’s jacket and different rooms of the house.
The gang were snared by officers from British Transport Police who had launched Operation Park following a surge in mobile phone thefts across the London Underground network.
After detectives identified the business hub of the network further queries led them to a storage facility in Southall where stolen mobiles and quantities of cash were being stored.
On September 2014, they made 13 arrests after raiding 32 residential and commercial properties where they seized cash, mobile phones and more than 1,110 items.
A total of 10 men and a woman were charged with conspiracy to handle stolen goods and money laundering offences.
Two trials took place at Blackfriars Crown Court and all were found guilty and sentenced to a total of 30 years.
Singh was jailed or two years for conspiracy to handle stolen goods.
Detective Chief Inspector John Justice said: “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.
“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.
“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.”