Mercedes theft gang mastermind jailed
- Gang leader gets two-year sentence
- Theft of older Mercs slashed since arrest
- Gang made up to £70,000 a month
The leader of a gang responsible for stealing over 80 older-style Mercedes cars has been jailed for two years.
Sina Abiodun Adebayo co-ordinated the theft of the Mercedes, which were then stripped down and shipped to Nigeria, where they were sold. The gang made up to £70,000 per month.
Officers from the Metropolitan Police's Stolen Vehicle Unit investigated the crimes as Adebayo's group moved between London boroughs in a bid to escape detection.
After a tip-off in August 2006, police officers raided scrap yards and lorries in Stratford, where they found the remains of 80 stolen Mercedes.
Following the raids, thefts of the type of Mercedes the gang was targeting fell by 98% - a figure that has remained consistent in the subsequent 10 months, leading police to believe that Adebayo was behind the majority of the previous crimes.
DCI Stuart Dark, head of the Met's Stolen Vehicle Unit, said: 'This man was a key player in a highly profitable international criminal network operating between the UK and Nigeria.'
The judge, who sentenced 45-year-old Adebayo on six counts of theft of motor vehicles, recommended he be deported following completion of his sentence.
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