A UK court has jailed an Indian national for nine years for committing fraud amounting to over one million pounds. On July 16, Ravinder Singh Randhawa, 30, was charged with 22 offence of fraud and one offence of money laundering at Exeter Crown Court. The UK’s Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) claims Randhawa was the leader of a fake car selling operation that defrauded more than 200 unsuspecting car buyers out of more than a million pounds.
To trick his victims, he used to pose as a car salesman. He preyed on trusting members of the public who simply wanted to buy second-hand cars. His crimes were sophisticated, using stolen identities from previous victims or hijacking the identity of legitimate businesses and vehicles for sale in order to fool his victims.
Randhawa has caused hundreds of people to suffer and lose money that they could not afford, Melo said. She said that his crimes had a profound impact on so many people’s lives. ‘Several described the severe impact on their mental and physical health, their family relationships, and overall financial stability. For many of the victims, this happened during a time when their lives were being negatively impacted by the pandemic,’ she said.
Randhawa sold the same vehicle more than once and pocketed the victims’ money. Some victims drove for miles to collect their new car, only to discover that the garage they purchased it from was no longer in business. In the scam operation, Atif Shariff, 30, and Jason Gilbert, 55, who assisted Randhawa to launder his ill-gotten gains, were sentenced to 20 months and 27 months’ imprisonment respectively.
According to Melo, the CPS worked with Devonshire and Cornwall Police to bring the offenders to justice. He mocked his victims and repeatedly threatened them with abusive messages once they realized they were victims of his fraud. One victim threatened to call the police, and he boasted that, ‘I’ve been doing it for years and the police won’t do anything,’ she said. In order to return the stolen money to its rightful owners, the CPS is now recovering as much of the stolen money as possible from Randhawa and his accomplices.