Two members of a Birmingham family were today (10 June 2014) found guilty of removing around 4 million miles off more than 250 cars in a professional car clocking operation.
Waseem Hussain, 26, of Mary Road, Stechford, and his uncle Shahid Mahmood, 43, of Herrick Road, Saltley, who pleaded not guilty to conspiring to commit fraud by selling or trying to sell cars with false mileages, commonly known as ‘car clocking’, will be sentenced at a later date at Birmingham Crown Court.
Waseem’s father Abid Hussain, 53, also of Mary Road, Stechford, and his other son Nadeem Abid Hussain, 28, of Alderson Road, Saltley, who pleaded guilty to the same charges at an earlier hearing, are also awaiting sentence.
Birmingham City Council brought the case after receiving numerous complaints from consumers across the Midlands who had bought vehicles from the defendants, which had their mileages lowered – in some cases by as much as 106,000 miles – between 2007 and 2011. The estimated value of this fraud is £500,000 with defendants thought to have profited by around £150,000.
Close monitoring of Auto Trader’s website revealed the defendants advertised seemingly low mileage cars using several trade names – Universal Cars, Trade Cars, Premier Cars and Bargain Cars.
On 17 May 2011, Birmingham Trading Standards executed a number of warrants at addresses across the city, after officers arranged to buy a used Audi A8 advertised by Bargain Cars with 125,000 miles on the clock – but checks revealed it had done more than 250,000 miles.
Officers seized dozens of documents from four addresses across Birmingham, including invoices, log books, MOT certificates and falsified service history papers.
Cllr Barbara Dring, Chair of the city council’s Licensing and Public Protection Committee, said: “Car clocking is a serious criminal activity that can affect anyone who buys a used car, especially as mileage is a major selling point in the second-hand market.
“People are entitled to honesty when buying vehicles, but approximately 4 million miles were dishonestly taken off odometers in cars sold by this family – which is almost ten times’ the distance to the moon and back – in order to push up the prices of these vehicles.
“When consumers unwittingly buy a ‘clocked’ vehicle not only is the mileage wrong but it is misrepresented, and as such could also have major mechanical problems that could put passengers’ safety at risk and lead to expensive repair bills. Therefore consumers are advised to check the vehicle’s history before buying a used car, to avoid becoming a victim of fraud.”
Notes to editors:
For more information about what to look for when buying a car visit Trading Standards’ web page on www.birmingham.gov.uk