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Last Updated: Friday, 27 July 2007, 18:56 GMT 19:56 UK
Prison for luxury car scam gang
Police images
Most of the cars were exported were never recovered by police
A gang ringleader who tried to sell 2.7m worth of stolen luxury cars has been jailed for six years.

Mahmood Khalid, 29, of Maple Crescent, Slough, led a scam to pass off high performance cars as new imports.

Khalid was helped by three other men and admitted his guilt before a trial in which one of the others was found guilty and jailed for three years.

All four were sentenced at Reading Crown Court for conspiracy to handle stolen goods from April 2004-May 2005.

The gang disguised 78 BMWs, Porsches, Toyota Land Cruisers and Land Rovers with new number plates and fake registration documents.

Burglary rate dropped

Some of the cars were taken abroad and sold to foreign buyers but others were sold in the UK to people who thought they were getting new imported models.

Eight of the British buyers had to relinquish their new purchases when police started to investigate the gang's activities.

Officers recovered 25 cars worth an estimated 1m but the rest were never found after they were exported to India, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates.

The rate of overnight burglaries of luxury cars dropped by 70% after Khalid was arrested, police said.

Forged documents

James Wheeler, 29, of Cavendish Court, Taplow, was jailed for three years after being found guilty of driving four cars to Belgium for Khalid.

Khalid pleaded guilty before Wheeler's trial, as did Irfan Rehman, 34, of Belmont Road, Luton, and Miles Geary, 30, of Edinburgh Road, Maidenhead, who both received 12-month sentences, suspended for two years.

The court heard that most of the cars had been stolen from owners' driveways in London, Surrey, Bedfordshire and Essex.

They were taken to a garage in the grounds of a remote private estate in the Berkshire countryside where they were given stolen or forged number plates.

The court heard that in order to re-register the cars as new imports the men had to forge DVLA documents, customs certificates and import forms.

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