Crime

Illegal minicab drivers sentenced for fraud

Two men sentenced for operating illegally as mini-cab drivers. Image: Met Police

Two men sentenced for operating illegally as mini-cab drivers. Image: Met Police

The Met Police have revealed that two men who forged Transport for London (TfL) private hire licences to illegally operate as minicab drivers have been convicted and sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court.

This follows Roads and Transport Policing Command investigations.

60 year old Masood Sheikh, 60 from Millfield Avenue, Waltham Forest was sentenced to 16 months imprisonment on 15th May.

He pleaded guilty to two fraud charges.

44 year old Hichem Hamilaoui from Redcliffe Gardens, Redbridge was sentenced to eight months imprisonment that’s been suspended for two years.

Both will now be subject to separate financial investigations by the MPS under the proceeds of crime act.

Sheikh and Hamilaoui were arrested after TfL compliance officers visited their operator and, while inspecting their records, identified that they were operating as minicab drivers, even though their private hire licences had been revoked.

Inspection of their paper licences showed that they were forged and have been used to fraudulently gain employment with cab companies.

The compliance officers then contacted the Police who arrested the drivers.

Inspector Tracy Allison, Roads and Transport Policing Command, said:

This is an excellent result which has seen two fraudsters receive robust judicial outcomes.

The partnership between the MPS and Tfl has a primary aim to safeguard the public from criminals on the transport network and we will continue to crack down on illegal and unsafe minicabs and encourage people to report illegal activity to us as we always act on this intelligence.

Garrett Emmerson, Chief Operating Officer for Surface Transport at TfL, said:

This is a great result and shows the length and determination the Police and our compliance officers will go to ensure that all private hire drivers in London are fully licenced.

Our compliance officers are out and about in London every day and night working to regulate the trade.

This conviction should hopefully send a message to anyone else thinking that they will get away with this sort of activity that we will find you and work with the Police to push for the strongest sentences to stop it happening again.

 

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