Three Bradford men involved in a “substantial and sophisticated” conspiracy to make huge profits selling on stolen high-performance cars were today stung for nearly £170,000 at a confiscation hearing at Bradford Crown Court.
It was payback time for Taqi Mir, his brother Mazhar Mir and Raees Khan who were part of an international criminal ring dealing in prestige motors, including a Bentley, Porsches, BMWs and Audis.
The three men were jailed for a total of 20 years in 2012 following a major police investigation.
Stolen vehicles valued at almost £420,000 were given false identities and some were shipped to Japan to be auctioned off.
Properties in Bradford were raided as part of the investigation and high-performance cars seized. Many of the vehicles were stolen from homes across West Yorkshire.
The men, who owned a car lot and garage premises in Allerton Road, Bradford, acquired 21 clocked vehicles and sold 16 for more than £90,000.
Taqi Mir, 30, and Mazhar Mir, 28, both of Duckworth Lane, Bradford, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to handle stolen cars.
Raees Khan, 35, of Wilmer Drive, Heaton, was convicted by a jury.
Khan was jailed for nine years, Taqi Mir for five years and four months, and Mazhar Mir for four years.
The brothers also admitted a second conspiracy, involving clocking cars. Taqi Mir was given a further 14 months’ imprisonment and his brother a consecutive nine months.
Judge Peter Benson has now ordered the three men to give back £168,000 of their ill-gotten gains after a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing.
Taqi Mir must pay back £105,890 in six months and Raees Khan £55,722, also in six months. Mazhar Mir must pay back £6,850 in three months.
If they fail to give back the money in time, Taqi Mir faces an extra two years in prison and Mazhar a three-month sentence. Raees Khan would have 18 months added to his sentence.
When the men were sentenced in June, 2012, the court heard that most of the cars were stolen in house burglaries.
False identities were created for the vehicles, supported by forged documents.
Innocent people were duped into buying stolen or ‘clocked’ vehicles on eBay.
After the Proceeds of Crime Act hearing, Detective Chief Inspector Paul Jeffrey, of Kirklees CID, said: “These are substantial confiscations which represent the end of a long-running operation by police and Trading Standards colleagues into a sophisticated criminal enterprise which saw hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of vehicles stolen for sale abroad.
"Thanks to the Proceeds of Crime Act, we have now been able to strip substantial amounts of cash from these individuals to be reinvested in the fight against crime.”
West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson, said: “Cases like these highlight the considerable amount of money we can potentially recover from criminal enterprises and which could be used to the benefit of local people and police.”