MEMBERS of a Bury-based organised crime group masterminded a scam to help drivers escape motoring convictions.
They provided false information when a letter — known as a “notice of intended prosecution” (NIP) — was sent to the registered keeper of a car used for a motoring offence, such as speeding or going through a red traffic light.
The gang would accept blank NIPs from drivers and, for a fee, would submit a false nomination of the person driving the vehicle at the time.
A made up name and the address 1 Coronation Gardens, Radcliffe, was endorsed on the NIP and returned to the police.
A new NIP in the false name was sent to the address by police and the gang collected it from a damaged, unlockable, outside postbox.
The NIP would be endorsed, accepting responsibility for the offence, and returned to the police.
But no further correspondence would be returned from the address.
Police investigated and executed a warrant in July last year at a house in Walmersley Road, Bury — the home address of the Afzal family described as the “hub” of the scam.
They found £5,106.97 in cash, which Oldham magistrates later ordered to be forfeited, and the gang was arrested.
Kamran Afzal, aged 30, of Walmersley Road, Bury, and Shehla Javed, aged 31, of Norden Road, Heywood, were today convicted of perverting the course of justice following a trial at Manchester Crown Court. Javed was jailed for four months and Afzal will be sentenced on September 16.
Three people were also jailed after pleading guilty to perverting the course of justice — Imran Afzal, aged 31, of Walmersley Road, Bury, was jailed for four months; Yahsar Khan, aged 31, of Silverdale Close, Bury was jailed for two years; and Mohammed Saleem, aged 31, of Spring Bank Lane, Rochdale, was jailed for 18 months.
Fourteen other people, who used the scam, have been sentenced at earlier hearings for perverting the course of justice.
• Fahad Javed, aged 29, of Bittern Close, Bamford, Rochdale, was jailed for six months.
• Jahangir Iqbal, aged 36, of Clara Street, Rochdale, were jailed for eight months.
• Matthew Paul Barton, aged 30, of South Park Drive, Poynton, was jailed for 10 weeks and fined £580.
• Thomas Christopher Barton, aged 59, of Bramhall Moor Lane, Hazel Grove, was jailed for 10 weeks and fined £580.
• Dale Gowers, aged 32, of Lyndhurst Avenue, Chadderton, was jailed for 12 weeks, suspended for 12 months, ordered to carry out unpaid work for 200 hours and fined £500.
• Mohammed Ali, aged 41, of Craig Road, Stockport, was jailed for 12 months and disqualified for six months.
• Saardar Mohyuddin, aged 45, of Springbridge Road, Whalley Range, was given a community order for 12 months to carry out 40 hours of unpaid work and fined £540.
• Adam Marsden, aged 29, of Juniper Drive, Firgrove, Rochdale, was jailed for two months, suspended for 12 months, for submitting a false written statement, ordered to carry out 240 hours of unpaid work and fined £85.
• Amjid Mahmood, aged 34, of Whiteacre Road, Ashton, was jailed for four months.
• Anjam Akhtar, aged 25, of Heywood Street, Bury, was given a community order to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work.
• Mohammed Qasim Ali, aged 33, of Heron Street, Oldham, was jailed for six weeks.
• Peter Burford, aged 34, of Chestnut Street, Chadderton, was jailed for two months, suspended for 12 months, for a false written statement, ordered to do unpaid work and fined £85.
• Tariq Mahmood, aged 42, of Kellett Street, Rochdale, was jailed for two months, suspended for 12 months, and given unpaid work.
• Talat Quresh, aged 27, of Chevron Close, Rochdale, was jailed for eight weeks, suspended for 12 months, for a false written statement, fined £85 and ordered to do unpaid work.
Afterwards, PC Vaughan Sherrah-Davies, based at the police’s road crime unit, said: “The desire to escape driving convictions by motorists helped this organised crime group’s criminal enterprise.
“Without their willingness to cheat the system, they wouldn’t have been able to profit from this scam.
“I would urge people who are tempted to become involved in these scams to think again. Is it worth getting a criminal record for life, going to prison for perverting the course of justice, for a £60 fine and three points or even in some of these cases a speed awareness course?”
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