Gang leader jailed for car 'cloning'

The leader of a car ringing gang, which stole £1.2 million worth of cars, has been sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison by London's Southwark Crown Court.

Nokhiaz Khan was the mastermind behind the gang, which stole, sold and re-stole cars from burglaries and "terrifying" carjackings.

The "sophisticated" group carefully "cloned" stolen vehicles by using the identities of similar cars on dealer forecourts.

By inventing service histories and using special equipment to make new number plates the vehicles were then advertised in Exchange & Mart and sold to "innocent purchasers".

Once the cars had been bought many were "re-stolen" by disabling electronic anti-theft measures, given yet another new identity and then sold to further unsuspecting buyers.

By using pay-as-you-go phones, 0 names and rented rooms to receive vital DVLA documents the gang were able to hide their tracks.

The court heard that evidence found at the home of Khan showed he had set up a fake company to carry out checks to get other details before giving new identities to the cars.

The scam was brought to the attention of the DVLA after one of the addresses the gang used was linked to the operation.

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