Six convicted over UK-Northern Cyprus car smuggling

Mert Işık (left), Martin Woodhouse, Derviş Çağlar (right)

Six members of a gang have been convicted for stealing dozens of luxury cars in the UK and driving them across Europe to sell on the black market in Northern Cyprus.

A 14-month long investigation found an estimated £5million worth of stolen car 120 stolen from the UK and transported to North Cyprus with fake paperwork had been carried out by the gang.

Six of the seven men charged for have been sentenced to a total of 20 years in person.

The ring leaders are believed to be Dervish Cağlar and Mert Işık, using their company ‘Test Cars’ as a cover they organised for the stolen vehicles to be sold in the TRNC.

The operation led by City of London’s fraud squad were able to seize two Audis each worth £80,000, two Range Rovers each worth £60,000, a Range Rover Vogue, two BMWs and a Mercedes each worth £40,000. They also confiscated assets of £800,000.

Stolen £40k Mercedes about to be smugglerd to Cyprus… nabbed by police instead. Picture: City of London Police

Two of the six, Dervish Cağlar and Mert Işık, organised for the stolen vehicles to be sold in the TRNC using their company ‘Test Cars’ as a cover.

The six convicted men and their offences are:

Dervish Cağlar, 48, of Millharbour, Tower Hamlets, was sentenced to six years for conspiracy to handle stolen goods, at Southwark Crown Court on 21 November 2019, after a trial.

Mert Isik, 29, of Newington Green Road, Islington, was sentenced to four years for conspiracy to handle stolen goods, at Southwark Crown Court on 21 November 2019, after a trial.

Martin Woodhouse, 63, of Grasmere Gardens, Harrow, was sentenced to a total of six years for the theft of an Audi Q7 S Line and two Range Rover Velars, at Southwark Crown Court on 21 November 2019, after a trial.

Mansha Khan, 50, of Mauldeth Road West, Manchester, pleaded guilty to the offence of handling stolen goods and was sentenced to one year, suspended for two years, with 150 hours unpaid work, at Southwark Crown Court on Monday 29 June 2020.

Bradley Young, 40, of Loring Road, Barnet, was sentenced to 18 months, suspended for two years, with 150 hours unpaid work, for the theft of a Range Rover and fraud by false representation, at Southwark Crown Court on Monday 29 June 2020.

Ali Duman, 28, of Milton Garden Estate, Stoke Newington, was sentenced to 18 months, suspended for two years, with 150 hours unpaid work, for the theft of a Range Rover and fraud by false representation, at Southwark Crown Court on Monday 29 June 2020.

A seventh member of the crime group, Stephen Chromik, 60, of Bobmore Lane, Buckinghamshire, pleaded guilty to the theft of a Range Rover and is due to be sentenced in August 2020.

Detective Constable Barry Butler, from the City of London Police, said: “Serious and organised crime is a huge risk to national and, in this case, international security.”

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