‘Brothers involved in car-clone gang’

A Bradford man, alleged to be a central player in a stolen car cloning gang, had no idea his brother was part of the conspiracy, a jury was told.

Padala Somi Reddy, 24, who lived with his elder brother, Satti, in Hollybank Road, Great Horton, had seen Satti driving round in expensive cars but assumed he could afford them from his income and handouts from his mother.

Reddy, now of Preston, is one of four men on trial at Leeds Crown Court. He denies conspiracy to handle stolen goods, along with Naveed Akhtar, 31, of Great Horton Road, Bradford; Sundeep Matharu, 24, of Uplands Grove, Clayton Heights; and Shehzad Ali, 29, of Warrington, Cheshire, between February, 2006, and July, 2008.

Reddy also pleads not guilty to fraud relating to a BMW car.

His 26-year-old brother, along with Reuben Browne, 24, of St Paul’s Road, Manningham, and Tahir Mahmood, 24, of Preston, have already pleaded guilty to the conspiracy.

The prosecution claimed during the three-week trial that the gang cloned £500,000 of stolen cars.

Police recovered 17 vehicles, including Audis, Volkswagen Golf GTis and R32s, Range Rovers and a BMW which had been stolen in burglaries across the North of England.

Prosecutor Jonathan Sandiford said the defendants were not involved in the burglaries but created false identities for the vehicles by obtaining the identities of genuine exported vehicles.

Mr Sandiford said five of the conspirators had made insurance claims for stolen vehicles and payouts of several thousand pounds had been made.

Mr Sandiford claimed Satti Reddy was at the heart of the conspiracy, his brother was towards the centre and Browne was a main player.

Summing up to the jury yesterday Judge Scott Wolstenholme said the big money was in the accounts of Satti Reddy but Somi had said he did not get bank statements and did not know how much was in the accounts.

Somi’s barrister had claimed he was being used by his brother.

Akhtar, who is married with a son, had denied that his role had been to provide addresses for the operation. He said he did not know about any stolen vehicles.

Sundeep Matharu and Shehzad Ali had both pleaded guilty to making a false insurance claim for a Volkswagen Golf but both denied knowing the vehicle or any others were stolen.

Matharu, who with other defendants had attended Queensbury School, was a youth centre voluntary worker.

The jury of eight men and four women retired to consider its verdict yesterday afternoon and was continuing its deliberations today.

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