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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 October 2006, 14:20 GMT 15:20 UK
Jail for credit card scam student
A student who cloned credit cards while working at a petrol station has been jailed for two years.

Sohail Ashraf, 21, from Fallowfield, Manchester, admitted stealing 2,960 by cloning customers' credit cards at a filling station in Wilmslow, Cheshire.

He also pleaded guilty to using 6,000 of illegally acquired cash to purchase a BMW M3 car, worth a total of 37,000.

Ashraf may be forced to pay the money back at a further hearing on 4 January under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

'Sophisticated crime'

Sentencing him, Judge Elgan Edwards at Chester Crown Court said: "You are an intelligent young man. This is a tragedy for you but credit and debit cards play a vital role in our commercial and personal lives.

"You knew that and you engaged in what I am assured was a sophisticated crime.

"You were involved in a deliberate fraud to the sum of almost 9,000.

"Those who involve themselves in this type of crime must realise the courts will come down hard on fraudsters like you."

Terror alert

Judge Edwards, the recorder at Chester, sentenced Ashraf to two years' imprisonment for each offence to run concurrently.

The student sparked a terror alert on a holiday jet from Malaga to Manchester in August when he aroused the suspicions of other passengers by his apparently bizarre clothing and behaviour.

Several families refused to travel as they feared that Ashraf and his friend, Khurram Zen, were suicide bombers.

The pair were questioned by police and neither was found to have any link to terrorism.


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