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Last Updated: Friday, 1 June 2007, 18:16 GMT 19:16 UK
Gang jailed over luxury car scam
Stolen car outside gang's garage
The stolen cars were given new identities

Members of an international gang who made 4.5m selling luxury cars stolen in violent attacks have been sentenced.

Gang members sold more than 190 cars - some of which were stolen by associates at gunpoint, others during burglaries.

Cars were often stolen to order then sold with identifying parts and paperwork from vehicles written off in Europe, Southwark Crown Court heard.

Gang members were given sentences ranging from five years in jail to community service orders.

Ten London gang members had help from associates in Belgium.

Gang members, clockwise from top left: Anthony Holt, Jason Okoh, Matthew Wilson, Robert Taylor, Terrance Harding, Omar Abbas, Michael Kingsley, Mark Danlardy
The men stole the cars in violent attacks

Seven members of the Belgian side of the gang, who dealt in write-offs, have already been sentenced.

Judge John Price said: "It was a very substantial conspiracy - not all of the conspirators are in the dock.

"But they [the police] destroyed an enormous organisation that was causing distress and financial loss to innocent people."

Although some of the cars were stolen in violent car-jackings with guns or knives being used to threaten drivers, most cars were taken in burglaries.

The gang members sentenced were involved in changing the identities of the stolen cars or selling them.

This was a particularly ruthless organised criminal network
Det Ch Insp Stuart Dark

The police were unable to identify those who actually stole the cars or those behind the violence.

The cars' identities were expertly changed with new computer chips and identification plates.

They even fooled inspectors from motoring organisations.

Vehicles were sold to national dealerships, through trade publications and on eBay.

Omar Abbas, 36, of New Cross, south-east London, the mechanic who fixed new number plates and changed the identifying parts, was jailed for five years.

'Excessive violence'

Anthony Holt, 41, a Tube driver, of Sidcup, Kent, who forged 136 DVLA documents, was given a four-year prison term.

The third key member of the gang Robert Taylor, 36, of Peckham, south-east London, was jailed for two-and-a-half years.

All three were sentenced for conspiracy to defraud.

Det Ch Insp Stuart Dark, head of the Met's stolen vehicle unit, said: "This was a particularly ruthless organised criminal network.

"The upper echelon of the network directed others to engage in excessive violence through robberies or burglaries with no regard for the trauma and anguish caused to their victims."

The other gang members sentenced were:

  • Emma Rayfield, 32, of Sidcup, Kent, who was a police trainee at the time, admitted three counts of forgery and dishonest handling and was sentenced to 75 hours community service
  • Michael Kingsley, 40, of Brockley, south-east London admitted conspiracy to dishonestly handle and was sentenced to 15 months in prison
  • Jason Okoh, 32, of South Norwood, south London, admitted conspiracy to defraud and was sentenced to one year in prison.
  • Mark Danlardy, 32, of East Dulwich, south-east London, admitted conspiracy to defraud and was sentenced to 18 months in prison
  • Terrance Harding, 31, of Colliers Wood, south-west London, admitted conspiracy to dishonestly handle and was sentenced to nine months in prison
  • DVLA official David Adams, 31, now a security guard of Barnhurst, Kent, admitted corruption in a public office and was sentenced to 200 hours community service
  • Matthew Wilson, 52, of Orpington, Kent, admitted dishonest handling and was sentenced to a 12-month suspended prison sentence last month



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