A Birmingham conman, jailed for his role in a £1.25 million Hollywood style “gone in 60 seconds” car-cloning scam, has lost an appeal against his sentence.
Amjad Waseem, 30, was jailed for four and a half years at Birmingham Crown Court in August 2012 after admitting conspiracy to steal.
He was described by the prosecution as as the “ringleader” of a gang who were described as emulating the Nicolas Cage’s movie in which car thieves target luxury cars for a career.
The Birmingham gang specifically targeted the owners of high-powered super cars, stealing their “dream” cars and flogging them on to unsuspecting customers.
The posse were that organised in the execution of their plan that investigating officers even found a “to do” list detailing the roles each gang member would play in the sophisticated scam.
Vehicles stolen by the group included six Range Rover Sports, five Mercedes, seven BMWs, eight Audis, a Porsche 911 Carerra, two Honda Civics, and a Lexus.
Mr Justice Lewis said Waseem, of Francis Road, Erdington, was part of a “highly organised gang” involved in stealing high performance and luxury cars which were then cloned and sold on to “innocent members of the public”.
“The planning was considerable and the culpability was high,” said the judge, who was sitting at London’s Appeal Court with Lord Justice Pitchford and Mr Justice Keith.
Waseem, the court heard, was “directly involved” with 15 of the stolen cars – worth around £250,000.
“He played an integral role in the conspiracy,” said the judge, who added that Waseem’s part was to find hiding places for the stolen cars and to fill out forms so they could be registered and sold.
His case reached the Appeal Court as he challenged his sentence – but it took Mr Justice Lewis just under five minutes to reject his complaints.
“The judge was perfectly entitled to pass this sentence and it was not manifestly excessive,” he concluded.