Final defendant in multi-million pound London smartphone fraud sentenced

21/12/2015

The last of 11 defendants convicted for their part in a multi-million pound London conspiracy to sell on stolen high value smartphones was sentenced at Blackfriars Crown Court today (21/12/15). Co-conspirator Nirmohan Bhatia was involved in the supply and selling of the phones, which were either stolen from London tube and rail users or bought using forged or stolen bank details.

He was sentenced to two years imprisonment, bringing the total sentences imposed for the 11 defendants to more than 30 years. Sentences for the other 10 defendants ranged from two to five years for their part in the conspiracy, which was in operation between May and September 2014 before being closed down by the British Transport Police operation.

CPS London Reviewing Lawyer Andy Vangeli said: A well-orchestrated British Transport Police operation meant the Crown Prosecution Service was able to put a strong case before the court and, faced with the weight of evidence against them, a number of these defendants, including ringleader Nawid Moshfiq, had no choice but to plead guilty. All of the other defendants were convicted after trial.

"The full extent of the criminality was estimated at £5 million pounds worth of phones and these were either stolen from London tube and rail passengers or bought using stolen or forged bank details. It wasnt until direct debit details were sent that many became aware they had unwittingly become a victim of fraud.

"The criminal enterprise operated from storage units in Uxbridge Road under the auspices of an electronics company, of which Nawid Moshfiq was named as the Company Director. The stolen phones would be boxed up and either sold to customers directly or shipped abroad. At its height the criminal enterprise could earn up to £10,000 a day.

"I hope this successful prosecution serves as a warning to those involved in smartphone fraud that we are committed to working with our BTP partners to tackle this type of criminal activity and will bring those responsible to justice."

Further information (unless specified, all defendants were convicted of conspiracy to handle stolen goods and money laundering):

On Friday 13th August, 2015 the following defendants were sentenced to the following terms of imprisonment:

  • Olia Moshfiq, 36: two years imprisonment (money laundering charge only)
  • Ahmed Raza, 28: 30 months
  • Ariji Singh Sethi, 43: 30 months
  • Paramijit Singh Kalra, 42: three years
  • Ranjit Banger, 31: three years.

On 7th September Nawid Moshfiq, 39, was sentenced to five years

On 28th September Nirmohan Singh, 37, was sentenced to 30 months (money laundering charge only)

Pritbal Bhatia, 54, was sentenced to 30 months

Mubarak Korasi, 41, and Harmet Singh Bhatia, 24, were convicted after a second trial, which concluded on December 2nd. They received the following sentences:

  • Korasi: 30 months
  • Bhatia: three years.

On 21st December, Nirmohan Bhatia, 20, was sentenced to two years.