Felixstowe: Man jailed over Mercedes fraud

Port of Felixstowe

Port of Felixstowe

A FRAUDSTER is beginning a three-year jail term today after Suffolk police intercepted a shipment of Mercedes cars at Felixstowe port.

Briti Shahi worked a scam which purported to export cars to the Far East by ship.

However, when he received the money while the vehicles were en route he then recalled the cars back to England.

Shahi’s con was uncovered after Suffolk Constabulary received a telephone call from the Royal Thai Embassy stating a buyer had been the victim of a fraud.

Shahi had sent two cars out to Bangkok by sea.

A deposit had been paid ahead of them being exported.

The new Mercedes Benz cars left England on the promise the balance would arrive when there was proof they had been shipped.

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Once they were at sea a forged bill of laden was raised and sent to the buyer via email to prove the vehicles were on their way.

The remaining money was then transferred to Shahi.

However, the 24-year-old instructed the cargo be returned to the UK when the ship arrived at Singapore, en route to Thailand.

Suffolk police intercepted the shipment when it came back to Felixstowe.

They visited the victim of the fraud at his London home and interviewed him. Subsequently another victim came forward to say they had also been conned.

The case was handed over to the Metropolitan Police, although Suffolk fraud squad officers continued to help with the inquiry.

In July last year Shahi was arrested and a search warrant executed at his home in Fulham.

Shahi was sentenced at Southwark Crown Court after pleading guilty to four counts of fraud and two of theft at an earlier hearing.

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