Gang of car thieves 'asked women off dating sites to drive high-end stolen cars out of the UK in exchange for a free weekend in Paris'

A GANG of car thieves asked women from dating sites to drive luxury stolen cars out of the UK in exchange for a free weekend in Paris, a court has heard.

The three men are accused of recruiting people online to move high-end Mercedes and Range Rovers through customs.

Alleged ringleader Jubel Chowdhury, 30, led the group accused of stealing high-end motors and selling them on with bogus plates and logbooks.

James Watts, 25, and Nathan Coker, 30, his alleged henchmen, also handled stolen cars and helped with travel arrangements, Blackfriars Crown Court heard.

They are accused of targeting women online and asking them to move vehicles from the UK in exchange for holidays.

Jurors heard co-defendants Suzanne Laney, 30, and Sakira Begum, 26, were both approached by the gang and offered an expenses-paid trips as part of deals.

The court heard the pair took part in trips into Europe transporting the stolen cars.

Prosecutor John Lloyd-Jones, QC, said: "[Chowdhury] offered [Laney] this expenses-paid opportunity taking a car over to France.

"You must think there is something wrong when a complete stranger is offering you an expenses paid trip to France with a high-end car."

British Transport Police discovered the alleged con after another person, Wesam Serroukh, 29, was pulled over in a Range Rover at Dover, jurors heard.

GANG ACCUSED

Serroukh admitted trying to smuggle criminal property out of Britain at Canterbury Crown Court before the trial, jurors were told.

He, along with the five remaining defendants are accused of taking part in a wider conspiracy to sell stolen cars abroad.

Lloyd-Jones, QC, said: "It is the prosecution case, that each of these defendants each played his or her role, different roles for some of them in this, and that they are all guilty of the conspiracy.

"Jubel Chowdhury, it is the prosecution's case, that he was at the very centre of this. He made many of the arrangements for people and vehicles.

"He was the point of contact for the freight companies who were contracted to ship these cars out to other parts of the world.

"He was the one who travelled to the other parts of the world. James Watts, and Nathan Coker, they were close associates of Mr Chowdhury part of the proof of that comes from comments between them.

"It seems that Mr Chowdhury clearly trusted them with information and with access to the cars and he trusted them with doing important tasks.

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"For their part James Watts and Nathan Coker did not just know what was being done, they knew what was really being done, and they took an active role in it, driving cars and making arrangements."

Chowdhury, Begum and Serroukh, of Tower Hamlets, Watts, of Newham, Laney, of Barnet, and Coker of Ilford, all deny one count of conspiracy to remove criminal property from England and Wales between 1 December 2014 and 31 May 2015.

The trial continues.


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