Three jailed in £750,000 car export ring

Three men have been sentenced to 10 years in jail for conspiracy to conceal, disguise, remove, transfer and convert criminal property.

Golam Merzaj, 32, Ali Raza Ahmed, 64, and Yusef Arman, 32, were each jailed at Birmingham Crown Court on Friday 15th March. All three business men pleaded guilty to the charges after a three week trial that started on Tuesday 12th June last year.

Chopped cars hidden at the back of the trailer Credit: West Midlands Police

It comes after detectives from West Midlands Police followed a tip-off that stolen cars were being stripped down, disassembled, and packaged ready to be shipped.

The cars, which had been stolen over the course of two years from September 2008 included BMWs, Audis, Mercedes, Range Rovers, Porches and Volkswagens. Police found they had been stolen from addresses in Birmingham, Kilmacolm in Scotland, Rochdale, Sandwell, Stafford, Solihull and Swindon.

The trailer then opened Credit: West Midlands Police

They were destined for the United Arab Emirates where detectives believe they would have been sold as expensive spare parts to wealthy locals.

Code named operation Bromwich, detectives intercepted a container in Southampton. They discovered tonnes of scrap metal and used car parts packed around a central core of Audi doors, BMW bonnets, Range Rover wheels and other valuable spares.

Police then found that cars had been driven to a Black Country garage operated by brothers Golam Merzaj and Yusef Arman where they would be carefully taken apart by a team of mechanics.

The lock-up where the cars were prepared Credit: West Midlands Police

From the unit on Alma Street, Smethwick the parts were then loaded into containers at a shipping company owned by Ali Raza Ahmed, who would organise for them to be transported overseas.

Ali Raza Ahmed Credit: West Midlands Police
Golam Merzaj Credit: West Midlands Police
Yusef Arman Credit: West Midlands Police

"This was an incredibly complex case with international connections.

"Criminals across the UK clearly knew about the racket Merzaj, Arman and Ahmed had set-up and would steal expensive cars from homes in towns and cities across the country just to drive them down to the West Midlands in exchange for cash.

"Through a painstaking policing operation we were able to identify the ring leaders of this illegal export business and bring them to justice."

Detective Constable Scott Chivers