x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Hamza sons jailed over £1m car scam

Two sons and a stepson of Abu Hamza, a jailed cleric whose name has become synonymous with extremism in the UK, are jailed for their roles in a £1m luxury car scam.

LONDON // Two sons and a stepson of Abu Hamza, a jailed cleric whose name has become synonymous with Islamic extremism in the UK, were sent to prison yesterday for their roles in a £1 million (Dh5.8m) luxury car scam. Sentencing Hamza Kamel, 22, and Mohamed Mostafa, 27 - Hamza's sons - and Mohssin Ghailam, 28, his stepson, Judge Gregory Stone told Southwark Crown Court, south London, that the case involved "serious criminality".

The three, who were said to have spent the money they got from the scam on living the high life, rather than on supporting terrorism, were part of a seven-man gang who used a loophole to obtain registration papers for cars whose owners they knew were abroad. More than £1m-worth of vehicles were then stolen and either sold abroad or used as collateral for loans that the gang never repaid. Kamel was sentenced to two and a half years for handling stolen cars and money laundering; Mostafa was imprisoned for two years for fraud; and Ghailam, described as a "key player" in the plot, was jailed for four years for conspiracy to defraud.

It was unclear last night where the men would serve their sentences. Abu Hamza, 51, is in a high-security wing at Bellmarsh Prison in London where he is serving a seven-year sentence for soliciting murder and racial hatred. He is also involved in a long-running legal battle to avoid extradition to the US, where he is wanted on charges that he tried to establish an al Qa'eda training camp in Oregon.

dsapsted@thenational.ae