Birmingham Chop Shop Busted
By Andrew Sanchez
People love their cars, but many have been heartbroken due to illegal chop shops. Chop Shops are illegal businesses that sell stolen vehicles. These cars have been stolen through violent car-jackings and burglaries. Now, one of the largest chop shop rackets ever has been busted in Birmingham, England.
Police found 117 stolen cars during the raid, and they estimated that the cars were worth over 1 million pounds, which is equivalent to 1,307,775 US Dollars. The authorities have said that potentially thousands of cars have passed through this racket in the past years. The criminals also took parts out of the vehicles and sold them on the internet. Some of the cars were not equipped with airbags, causing a massive safety hazard. One Volkswagen Golf was sold for ten thousand pounds, or 13,326.55 US Dollars, and was fitted with airbags that would be unlikely to deploy in an accident. "The scale that we've seen from these chop shops is unprecedented in the West Midlands," said Detective Insp Hannah Whitehouse from the West Midlands Police Department. The police force believes that there has been a 100 percent increase in vehicle thefts in the last four years. They state that there is more criminal demand for car parts and now many are lobbying for improved government regulation.
Four Birmingham men were arrested. Their names are Nadeem Arshad, Zahir Hussain, Mohammed Nadeem, and Amaan Zameer. Nadeem was jailed for 6 years. Hussian was jailed for 4.5 years. Zameer was jailed for 5.5 years and also plead guilty to assault with intent to resist arrest. Arshad was jailed for 7 years. A woman named Lisa Spence admitted that she kept vehicle logs that were used in the fraud. She has to serve 100 hours of community service and she was given a nine month suspension.
Chop Shop rackets have caused heartbreak for many innocent people. These rackets have affected people from all around the world, including Americans. There are harsh consequences for these rackets, but many chop shops go by undetected. Governments need to impose more regulations on car sales and stolen parts to put an end to these illegal chop shops around the world.