Sons of radical jailed for scam

2009-05-28 22:24

London - Three sons of radical Muslim cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri, who is in a British prison for inciting his followers to murder non-believers, were jailed themselves on Thursday for involvement in a luxury car scam.

Hamza Mustafa Kamel, 22, and Mohammed Kamel Mostafa, 27, helped run the two-year fraud with the cleric's stepson Mohssin Ghailan, 28, Southwark Crown Court was told.

Kamel, who admitted dishonest handling of stolen cars and money laundering, was jailed for two-and-a-half years and Mostafa received a two-year term after pleading guilty to two counts of fraud, the Press Association reported.

Ghailan, who admitted conspiracy to defraud and was described as a "key player", was jailed for four years.

Egyptian-born Hamza is currently serving a seven-year term after being jailed in 2006 over sermons which prosecutors said advocated the killing of Jews and other non-Muslims.

Collateral

He also faces extradition to the US where he is accused of trying to set up an al-Qaeda camp and of involvement in plotting the seizure of 16 Western hostages in Yemen in 1998.

The court heard that his sons were involved in a plot to fraudulently obtain official documents for 32 high-value vehicles worth more than £1m which they then used to obtain duplicate keys.

The gang then stole the cars, including BMWs and Mercedes, many of which belonged to owners who were abroad for long periods or had been left in long-term car parks.

The cars were then sold on or used as collateral to borrow money which was never repaid.

"The prosecution describes this criminality as a sophisticated, well planned and professionally executed operation, and I agree with that description," said Judge Gregory Stone.

"This is a bad case, and the criminality is considerably more sophisticated and organised than the usual car-ringing case."

Mohamed Chiadmi, Abdul Chiadmi and Khalid Jebari, other members of the gang, were jailed for four years each for the scam and other offences, and Hamza Mrimou received a three-and-a-half year sentence.

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