Thornaby man jailed after threatening taxi driver with knife and demanding money

 

JAILED: Nicholas Mannion

A MAN who threatened a taxi driver with a knife after he dropped him off at home has been jailed for two years, eight months.

Nicholas Mannion ordered the terrified cabbie to drive and pointed the weapon at him two or three times, leading him to believe he would be stabbed or money taken from him.

Prosecutor Paul Lee told Teesside Crown Court that Mannion had got into the taxi outside Stockton’s Swallow Hotel and asked to be taken to an address in Thornaby.

Once the pair arrived Mannion asked if he could go inside to get some money for the fare – leaving his trainers behind when the driver asked for some means of proof that he would return.

Once he returned to the vehicle he brandished the knife and began making threats, forcing the victim to drive about a mile.

He eventually made off, although nothing was taken.

Mannion, 23, of Sycamore Avenue, Thornaby, admitted attempted robbery in the early hours of May 3 this year.

Julian Gaskin, mitigating said Mannion, who has 18 previous convictions, suffered from depression and regularly drank far too much.

He said: “This was an idiotic decision in drink.

“It was an attempt, no injury occurred and nothing was stolen. He has asked me to apologise for his horrendous actions. He does show clear remorse.”

Judge John Walford said Mannion was a persistent offender and described the offence as extremely serious with aggravating features.

source: http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/

 

Rogue St Day taxi driver fined thousands by court

A rogue taxi driver has been fined more than £3,000 by a court for breaching his taxi license.

Christopher William Greenwood of 6 Vogue Hill, St Day, pleaded guilty to seven offences including failing to keep proper records, using unlicensed vehicles and drivers and driving without the required licenses at Truro Magistrates Court yesterday.

The 51 year-old was deemed to be putting passengers at risk by transporting them without the correct insurance cover.

The other unlicensed drivers had also not been vetted for previous convictions or undergone medical fitness tests.

Greenwood’s offences occurred over a period of 12 months between 2013 and 2014 and involved an investigation by a Cornwall Council’s licensing compliance officer.

Bob Mears, Cornwall Council licensing compliance manager, said:” My enforcement officer Andrea Carter has conducted a very thorough investigation into Mr Greenwood who was at times very uncooperative.

“Cornwall Council licensing service will do their utmost to support the taxi trade who are, in the most part, hardworking and law abiding in very difficult times, by endeavouring to ‘weed out’ the unscrupulous and illegal operators.

“I am delighted that the magistrates have taken this matter seriously and administered a suitable punishment and I hope that this sends out a message to any other illegal operators in Cornwall that if my officers can establish enough evidence such offenders will be dealt with accordingly.”

Greenwood was fined £1000, and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £100 in addition to Cornwall Council’s legal costs of £2,500.86.

Read more: http://www.westbriton.co.uk/

Minicab driver involved in “largest ever” seizure of heroin

A NEWPORT-based gang was caught with £4 million of eroin in the “largest ever” seizure of the drug in a Welsh investigation, a court heard yesterday.

Seven defendants are on trial at Cardiff Crown Court accused of involvement in the business dealing “industrial quantities” of the Class A drug. One acted as the “banker” while others transported heroin or money or provided a safe house for storage between October 27 2013 and January 30 this year, the court heard.

Shazia Ahmed, 37, of Leonard Street; Wasim Ali, 29, of Harrow Road;both Newport, Zawed Malik, 40, of Tameside, Manchester, and Khalid Yassen, 29, Umar Arif, 28, Tracy Ford, 38, and Umar Butt, all of Cardiff, deny conspiracy to supply heroin.

Another five men including “king pins” Imtiaz Ali and Mohammed Sajjad have admitted the same charge, the jury was told.

Police shut down the alleged drugs ring after Imtiaz Ali, of Ebenezer Street in Pill, decided to relocate the business in a panic after drivers had been intercepted by police, prosecutor Jonathan Rees told the court during his opening speech.

He said Butt and Yassen were told to drive the stockpile of heroin to Birmingham.

The two loaded the car up in Ringland and started to drive in convoy with Sajjad leading the way, he added.

But Butt and Yassen did not arrive as police pulled over their Citroen Picasso on the side of the M5, the court heard, and found 36.5kg of heroin – “a vast quantity” – in a suitcase and hidden in a speaker.

If this cargo had reached the streets it would have been worth around £3 million, Mr Rees said.

The day before this Newport minicab driver Wasim Ali had been intercepted trying to ferry half a million pounds worth of heroin from Cardiff to Newport in a carrier bag stacked in the passenger seat footwell, the prosecution claimed.

Ali told police he did not know what was in the bag, Mr Rees said.

Money was kept and counted at a shoe shop on Commercial Street in Newport, he alleged, saying Ahmed organised finances from her shop R’Evage.

Mr Rees claimed Imtiaz Ali left the shoe shop with a suitcase “stuffed to the gills full of cash” on November 18 last year, which he passed to Malik to drive to the Manchester area.

Malik was stopped by police at a service station near Symonds Yat as he drove from Newport to Manchester with £223,555 in bags of cash, the prosecution said.

But Mr Rees said he claimed to be acting as a private hire driver.

Fingerprints from Ford were found on one of the bags, Mr Rees said, along with a receipt with her credit card details. He alleged Ford and her partner operated a “safe house” for distribution.

The alleged conspiracy was investigated by police in Operation Frank, Mr Rees said.

He told the jury: “The value of the heroin recovered, the prosecution say, if it had been sold on the streets of South Wales was well over £4 million.

“It is the largest ever seizure of heroin in a Welsh investigation.

“Large quantities of money as well were seized from defendants who are in the dock today.”

Regarding Wasim Ali, he said: “It would be common sense, wouldn’t it, if you were going to give half a million pounds of drugs to someone it would be a person you could trust.”

He added: “Mr Sajjad and Mr Ali would handpick trusted friends and associates to involve in this lucrative, multimillion pound business.

“The prosecution say pleas of guilty prove there was a conspiracy to supply industrial quantities of heroin on the streets of South Wales.”

Proceeding.

source: http://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/

Taxi driver attacked in row over fare

A driver for Banyards taxi firm was attacked

A taxi driver was attacked and held by the throat after a row over a £40 fare.

He was attacked at the taxi rank in Maldon High Street in the early hours of Thursday, July 24.

The man, who works for Banyards Taxis in the High Street, had taken two women passengers to Wickham Bishops, when one asked to go to Stanway, in Colchester, and was quoted £40.

Company owner Colleen Bannister, 29, said: “The passenger claimed the driver was ripping her off.

“He returned to the High Street taxi rank when a group of four men arrived and started abusing him.

“They beat him up, ripped his clothes and damaged his car keys.

“Considering the drivers are there to get people home, they do not deserve this treatment.

“The fare for the journey was entirely correct for 2am.”

source: http://www.chelmsfordweeklynews.co.uk/

 

Cab bosses plea for taxi fare hike

TAXI-users across Nuneaton and Bedworth will soon find out if fares are to rise by ten per cent.

Members of Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council’s licensing committee are to meet on Monday to decide whether to give the green light to a request to hike the charges.

Nuneaton and Bedworth Taxi Association made a request to the panel, asking for the rise, which is the first in two years.

In a letter to the panel, the association states that there has been extensive price increases on the commodities the trade is reliant on, such as insurance and vehicle maintenance.

It also says that firms have had to absorb two increases in the minimum wage since the last price rise.

“We would respectfully ask for an early response to our proposal thereby assisting in easing the financial burden that we are experiencing at this time,” the letter concludes.

Following the request, a letter and questionnaire was sent to all 209 hackney carriage/private hire vehicle licence holders to gain their views.

There were 78 responses, 31 said they were not in favour of any increase, two were in favour of a rise but not ten per cent, and 45 were in favour of a ten per cent increase.

There were also letters supporting the ten per cent rise, and comments received from some of those not in favour of any increase.

These are included in the report for the licensing committee, which also includes comparisons to taxi fares in other authorities.

Currently in Nuneaton and Bedworth, the tariff for a one to two mile fare is £6.25, which is more expensive than nearby North Warwickshire, Coventry, Rugby, Hinckley and Stratford.

In Birmingham, the tariff for a one to two mile fare is £6.50, and the national average is £5.60.

Members of the committee, who are due to meet on Monday at 6pm, are being asked to decide whether to agree to the rise request.

It is understood that any variation to the fare scales has to be advertised and, if any objections are received, the committee must consider them. This could take two to three months.

Read more: http://www.nuneaton-news.co.uk/

 

Mar 07

OLDHAM COUNCIL SUSPENDS LICENCES OF TAXI & MINICAB DRIVERS

Oldham Council has suspended three licensed taxi and minicab drivers following hearings before the Licensing Panel on Tuesday, March 5

Gulham Rasool, 36 of Greengate Street , Oldham had his private hire driver’s licence suspended for 21 days following a complaint about his conduct.

Aatif Iqbal, 28 of Manchester Road, Oldham had his Hackney driver’s licence suspended for 28 days following a conviction for illegally picking up passengers outside the Borough.

Imran Khan. 26, of Ronald Street, Clarksfield had his private hire driver’s licence suspended for 56 days following convictions for picking up passengers without a booking and not having the correct insurance.

Councillor Fida Hussain, Chair of the Licensing Committee, said: “Oldham Council takes a dim view of drivers who break the law and behave unreasonably.

“These decisions reflect the stance of the Council to take action where necessary.”

source: http://manchestergazette.co.uk/

Mar 07

Minicab drivers fined over using new bus lane

Minicab drivers have hit out after being slapped with fines for using bus lanes.

Drivers with LA private hire are furious after receiving £60 fines from North Tyneside Council for using the new Balliol Bus Link – despite a sign saying the road can be used by buses, cyclists and taxis.

Company manager Stephen McGuinness claims around 30 of his drivers have been fined in the past eight days because the council said the road is for hackney carriages rather than private-hire cars.

“North Tyneside Council have just decided in their eyes that taxi does not mean private hire,” said Mr McGuinness.

“It’s crazy because the bus lane does not run through a residential area, it is just linking business parks.”

He added: “They are hammering local business once again. This is the first time we have received fines for this.

“Newcastle City Council allow all taxis of all boroughs to use their bus lanes.”

But a spokesman for North Tyneside Council insisted it was common knowledge under legislation when signs indicate a taxi is permitted to use the road refers to hackney carriages only.

The spokesman said: “Under national legislation, wherever signage indicates that a taxi is permitted to use a bus lane this refers to hackney carriages only, not private-hire vehicles.

“Private-hire drivers should be aware of this.

“We regularly remind local companies at taxi forum meetings, the information is on the council’s website and the same legislation prevents private- hire drivers from parking at taxi ranks.

“If anyone wishes to challenge their penalty charge notice there is an established appeals procedure in place.”

But LA private hire has claimed the enforcement camera is targeting private-hire taxis and is simply a way for the council to make money.

Mr McGuinness, said: “It’s just a money-spinning exercise. It is so annoying. It is not in the public interest for private-hire taxis not to use that road.”

The road was funded by Nexus to improve bus access between Balliol Business Park and Gosforth Business Park.

The council has said where signs indicate taxis are eligible to use the bus lane it refers to a vehicle licensed under Section 37 of the Town Police Clauses Act 1847, a hackney carriage and not private-hire vehicles.

Mr McGuinness said the move is hurting businesses in the borough.

He added: “We have a contract at the other end of the road and now we are having to tell customers we have to add another mile to their journey going round the long way and adding about £1.50 to their fare.

“For our contract, £1.50 over three months or so is a lot of money.”

He added: “It is stifling growth. Drivers are now saying they do not want to do jobs in that area.”

Read More http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/

original article corrected by admin.

Comment from admin;

The guys at LA are licensed lawfully in Newcastle, if they done the illegal thing (well frowned upon thing) of licensing their cars as hackneys in another area – they wouldn’t have been prosecuted…… it makes a mockery of doing the right thing.

Mar 07

Taxi operator banned from driving for having no insurance

THE owner of a Barnstaple based taxi firm has been handed a driving ban after North Devon Council discovered she had been running her firm’s fleet of four cars without insurance.

A court also heard how the firm had ferried children to and from school under contract to Devon County Council while the vehicles were uninsured.

Joanne Lynne Brend, 45, of 9 Vicarage Lawn, pleaded guilty to using her own taxi without insurance and permitting the use of another three without insurance when she appeared at North Devon Magistrates’ Court on December 19 last year. The case was bought to the Journal’s attention when it was mentioned on a North Devon Council licensing newsletter sent to all taxi drivers in the area.

In court North Devon Council showed how Brend allowed four vehicles belonging to her firm, Diamond Cars, to be used without insurance from May to August last year. She was fined £300 and disqualified from driving for a year.

North Devon Council also suspended her taxi driver’s licence, which has now expired.

Read more: http://www.thisisdevon.co.uk/

http://www.northdevon.gov.uk/february_2013.pdf

Mar 07

UK families required to take part in a documentary for a major terrestrial broadcaster

Watershed Television are looking for UK families to take part in a documentary for a major terrestrial broadcaster
Is the cost of living getting you down? Would you like to save yourself – and your family –money? 
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Over 500,000 families in the UK already live like this and moving three generations under one roof has all sorts of advantages, it can bring families closer together and save thousands of pounds. If your family are willing to open your door to us, we can help you explore your options.  For more information, please email our team your contact details to casting.watershed@watershedtv.co.uk

Let me know if you need more information.
Many Thanks,
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(020 3301 8428|* katie.satchell@watershedtv.co.uk|

Mar 07

Oldham Taxi Association oppose council proposals to end ‘out of town’ taxis

PIONEERING moves by Oldham Council to bring in strict rules to discourage black cabs operating in neighbouring boroughs have been slated by taxi owners.

Next Tuesday’s Licensing Committee will hear officers propose the changes following a number of High Court cases involving the issue.

High Court rulings state that a hackney carriage vehicle licensed by one local authority may be used for pre-booked hirings on behalf of a private hire operator licensed by another local authority.

Licensed

This is currently taking place in Oldham, with black cabs licensed by Rossendale Council undertaking private hire work for operators licensed by Oldham Council.

But the High Court also says that a local authority may refuse to grant a hackney carriage vehicle licence where the applicant “intends” to use the vehicle entirely or predominantly in another borough.

Oldham licensing officers currently have no information as to where a licensed vehicle will be used.

They want to add a clause asking about the “intended use” of a hackney carriage vehicle, with a presumption to refuse an application where it is the intention of the applicant to ply for hire to a “material extent” outside the borough.

Oldham Metropolitan Borough Taxi Owners’ Association says there are more than 50 black cabs licensed in neighbouring boroughs but operating in Oldham. It says if stricter rules are enforced in Oldham but not in neighbouring boroughs, then it only stops Oldham vehicles working outside the borough without eliminating the root cause of the problem.

It said it would support the move only if and when it is introduced nationwide, and it questions why Oldham council is so keen to trailblaze the idea in the North-West.

source: http://www.oldham-chronicle.co.uk/

Mar 06

Join the National Taxi Association

The National Taxi Association is a representative body of Hackney Carriage Proprietors and drivers from across the UK.
Below are application forms for membership, either based upon you being an individual or as an association.
Membership Costs
Membership of the NTA lasts from the 1st of January to the 31st December each year.
If you join from the month of September of any year, your membership will commence immediately but the membership year will begin from 1st January of the forthcoming year.
Full Association membership £20 for each hackney carriage proprietors license your association represent, minimum fee £200 per year.
Individual Membership £36.50p per year
Corporate Membership £450 per year
If you are thinking of forming a local association, we have also produced a model constitution, where you basically fill in the blanks, adopt and amend, according to your own desires.
There are numerous benefits of NTA membership.
You can achieve discounts from various suppliers.
You will receive up to the minute consultations from National government.
You will receive advice on trade matters and concerns.
The NTA has a database of taxi related court cases which are freely available to all members.
The taxi trade is a profession, we need a representative body to represent us.
The NTA has a long established history of representing the Hackney Carriage industry, we are key stakeholders with government.
National Taxi Association application form (association word format)
National Taxi Association application form (Individual word format)
Model Association Constitution (word format)

Mar 06

Rule changes will finish us off, claim Cheshire taxi drivers

DISGRUNTLED taxi drivers fear they will be forced off the road and put out of business should controversial regulation and licensing changes go ahead.
Plans to impose an age limit on vehicles, introduce new driving tests and lift restrictions on the number of taxis operating in some areas have been put forward.
Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC) said the changes were based on public feedback and designed to raise standards and improve the environment.
New licences would only be issued to vehicles aged under 12 months and licences would expire when vehicles reached 10 years old.
But taxi drivers – already struggling to cope with rising fuel prices and falling trade – believe the proposals could be the ‘final nail in the coffin’.
Mark Williams, joint director of Abbey Taxis, warned the changes could spell the end for many of his drivers.
He said: “We are lobbying against the council’s proposals. There is a solidarity within the trade among ourselves and rivals from directorship level.
“None of us want what the council are proposing. We are calling upon the council to take a sensible approach to the issue.
“Of course, our firms are mindful of the importance of safety and quality vehicles for passengers and we do our utmost to ensure that is the case at all times.
“The council also carry out regular vehicle safety and quality checks so the council already have some control over that.
“We are united as a trade that the council must make a sensible decision to ensure livelihoods are not detrimentally affected.”
Mr Williams, whose firm has about 150 drivers in Chester, said passengers could see an increase in fares and a drop in the number of taxis on the road.
He said: “There will be no option for increases in business running costs, resulting in increases for drivers and in turn substantially increased fares for passengers, costs would be passed on to the fare paying public.
“Drivers would be unlikely be able to meet raised costs and that would result in a loss of drivers.”
One private hire driver, who asked not to be named, believes the number of taxis could fall by as much as 50 per cent.
He said: “If the 12 month policy is agreed, then this would mean nothing less than livelihood suicide.
“Drivers are already facing all the odds to scrape a living under the current climate and to force further financial implications for us would hammer the final nail in the coffin.
“Many drivers will just not be able to meet the cost and will have no option to leave the trade.
“Some drivers are lucky to make between £4 or £5 per hour under the present climate.”
Council spokeswoman Shirley Wingfield said a three-month consultation with taxi drivers was now drawing to a close.
She said: “This has been supplemented with meetings with taxi and private hire drivers across the borough.
“All interested parties will also be given an opportunity to address the licensing committee.
“In the Chester zone new licences will only be granted to hackney carriage applicants who propose to licence a new vehicle.
“The consultation document proposes to introduce an entry and exit age policy for all licensed vehicles.
“The entry and exit date has yet to be determined but the consultation proposes no more than one year old on entry and exiting the system after reaching 10 years of age on comfort, reliability and environmental grounds.
“Drivers are also asked questions about colour of the vehicles, carrying permitted advertising and quantity restrictions on hackney vehicles in the Ellesmere Port and Neston zone.
“The outcome of the consultation will be considered by the licensing committee on April 16
source: http://www.chesterfirst.co.uk/

Mar 06

Crawley taxi drivers warned over break-ins

TAXI drivers are being warned not to leave valuable items in their cabs overnight following a spate of break-ins.
Cash floats, sat navs and even taxi signs have been stolen from vehicles while they’ve been parked on driveways or outside homes overnight.
Crawley Police issued a warning to drivers on Monday to remove all signs, where possible, which mark a car as a taxi because it is thought that the culprit is specifically targeting them.
The message read: “Taxi drivers please take note – thefts from cabs is definitely on the increase and we can not stress enough to remove everything when you’ve finished your shift – floats, satnavs, phones, anything that can be removed, basically. If you can easily remove anything that identifies your vehicle as a cab then do even if you park it on your own driveway.”
Two men have been arrested in connection with a series of taxi break-ins early on Monday morning in Crawley.
A 20-year-old man from Crawley and an 18-year-old man from Horley have been arrested for theft from a vehicle and theft of a motorcycle.
Six taxis were broken into between 3am and 7am on Monday, March 4, in Beachy Road, Wisborough Court, Trist Way, Trefoil Crescent, Henderson Road and Lansbury Road.
Sat navs were stolen from the cars in Trefoil Crescent and Henderson Road, nothing was stolen from the other cars.

Read more: http://www.thisissussex.co.uk/

Mar 05

Minicab driver guilty of death by careless driving

A minicab driver who caused the death of a motorcyclist – and left three children without a father – when he suddenly pulled across his path has been ordered to carry out 140 hours of unpaid work.

Judge John Plumstead told Habib Sherzai it had been a piece of “absurd driving” when he cut across the path of motorcyclist Terry Smith.

But the judge pointed out that because of the time the defendant had spent in custody on remand and then on a tagged curfew, it meant that any sentence he was given would mean he would be set free in a very short time.

Sherzai, 22, of Athelstone Road, Harrow, who was a self-employed licenced private hire driver, pleaded guilty to a charge of causing death by careless driving on March 20 last year.

Prosecutor Sally Mealing McLeod told the court Sherzai did not have a fare on board as he drove his silver blue VW Passat car along Station Road in Borehamwood at 4.35pm that day.

Coming in the opposite direction was Mr Smith on his black Honda CBR900 motorcycle.

Mr Smith was a mechanic working at Elstree Film Studios and an experienced motorcyclist.

The court was told that as Sherzai reached the right turn into Academy Court, he made a right turn into the path of the oncoming motorcyclist, causing a collision.

Mr Smith, a father of two teenage sons and a four-year-old daughter, sustained multiple injuries and despite being rushed to hospital, died a short time later.

A witness later told police the defendant’s car had turned right without signaling.

Miss McLeod said Mr Smith was thrown through the air after his motorbike collided with the passenger door of the car and he landed on his back.

Judge Plumstead said it was an act of carelessness on behalf of Sherzai that had changed the lives of an entire family.

He said Mr Smith had been in the prime of his life and was “a father to be proud of and a highly skilled and decent man”.

In addition, Sherzai was disqualified from driving for two years.

The judge pointed out the defendant had not tried to “escape justice” and up until that day had been a law abiding young man.

The judge told him: “This was a piece of absurd driving.”

source: http://www.harrowtimes.co.uk/

Mar 04

The Tyneside taxi crooks who took everyone for a ride

Amjed Malik and Shakir Javid

GUNNED down Amjed Iqbal ran a lucrative insurance scam with the man once alleged to have shot him.

When Iqbal, also known as Malik, was shot in the leg in 2009, his business partner Shakir Javid and another man were accused of carrying out the attack, but charges were later dropped.

Now Iqbal and Javid have been jailed for running “cash for crash” and mortgage scams worth more than £1m.

The pair, who ran an accident claims management firm in the West End of Newcastle, owned a fleet of taxis which they would hire out to cabbies whose cars were off the road.

But the fraudsters cooked the books, claiming thousands from insurance companies by making up accidents and claiming for costs which did not exist.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the pair also left a number of taxi drivers uninsured by providing them with fake insurance certificates.

Now Iqbal has been jailed for two years and four months, while Javid got three years.

The court heard they were partners at Accident and Claims Specialists (ACS), based on West Road, but there was an acrimonious falling out between the pair in 2008.

In 2009, Iqbal was shot in the leg at a house in Darras Hall, Ponteland.

The father-of-two was targeted by masked hitmen in a bungalow on Middle Drive, close to the homes of some of the region’s wealthiest residents. He had to undergo two operations and surgeons removed 50 pellets embedded in his leg.

After the fall out, Javid and his wife ran ACS from new premises on West Road while Iqbal stayed at the old shop and started running a rival business in the same line of work.

The court heard it was while the men were working together at ACS that the fraud happened.

Iqbal and Javid owned several licensed taxis and would hire them to cabbies whose vehicles were off the road with accident damage. Iqbal had also obtained the lease on a garage workshop in Conhope Lane, Newcastle, where damaged vehicles were taken.

Prosecutor Michael Graham said: “ACS would manage claims, supply hire cars and recover, store and repair accident damaged cars – all the facilities required to handle motor accident claims to their maximum financial advantage.

“Because Iqbal and Javid had access to plated taxis, ACS very much targeted the taxi trade for their business.

“Fraudulent claims were made to insurance companies for charges arising from road traffic accidents – charges for the recovery and storage of vehicles, and the hire of replacement vehicles.

“In some claims, there is evidence that no accident took place at all, in other claims sums have been claimed for recovery, storage or hire when this did not take place or otherwise, figures have been inflated.” Between 2006 and 2009, 34 false claims were made, fleecing insurance companies of £194,000.

The fraudulent business came to light when a solicitor working on behalf of Arriva Buses became suspicious about a claim which had been processed by ACS.

Police were called and they executed search warrants at premises owned or controlled by Iqbal and Javid.

Documents recovered from ACS showed some of the taxis had even been registered as having been hired to more than one person at the same time.

Analysis of other files demonstrated claims for car hire had been made when no car hire had been provided or the time periods had been exaggerated.

Police also found a number of fake insurance certificates had been issued by Iqbal and Javid, meaning a number of cabbies were driving round uninsured.

Some 38 forged insurance documents were recovered, most of which had been lodged with Newcastle and Gateshead councils’ licensing departments by unsuspecting taxi drivers. The court heard a number of cabbies made a statement complaining about the scam.

During the police investigation, officers discovered Iqbal and Javid had also lined their pockets with mortgage frauds.

Using his wife’s name, Javid obtained 11 mortgage advances worth £919,496 by making false declarations about his income. Iqbal took out a mortgage worth £139,749 for a property on Beadling Gardens, Newcastle, in July 2006.

On the form, he claimed him and his wife were earning almost £60,000 a year between them, but he had only declared an income of £1,444 to the taxman.

Iqbal, 35, of Hall Avenue, Fenham, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to acquire criminal property through fraud, obtaining a money transfer by deception and converting criminal property. Javid, 36, of Lindale Road, Fenham, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to acquire criminal property through fraud, acquiring criminal property and converting criminal property.

Taxi driver Zafar Hussain, 33, of Dunholme Road, Newcastle, pleaded guilty to one count of fraud by false representation after a fictitious insurance claim where he arranged to crash two cars into each other.

The details of an unsuspecting member of the public were used to make a false claim. An insurance company was defrauded of almost £14,000 as a result. Hussain was fined £800.

Andrew Rutter, for Iqbal, said: “He is vulnerable physically, part of his arm is missing and he now has a cage around his leg. He is a devoted family man and devout religiously.”

Robin Patton, for Javid, said: “There is a good side to him, he has tried to help others who are less fortunate. He will disgrace his family by going to prison and will not be able to assist his father, who he looks after.”

Caroline Goodwin, for Hussain, said his role was peripheral and he was remorseful.

Read More http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/

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