Tyne & Wear

Sunderland motor offences scam 'fixer' jailed

Syed Shahed Ahmed Image copyright Northumbria Police
Image caption Syed Shahed Ahmed admitted conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and money laundering

A fraudster who helped dishonest drivers escape motoring convictions has been jailed for more then three years.

Dubbed "the fixer", 43-year-old Syed Shahed Ahmed helped more than a dozen drivers across Sunderland and South Tyneside avoid fines and points on their licences.

Newcastle Crown Court heard he created fake drivers to take the blame for his clients' speeding and other offences.

He admitted conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and money laundering.

The court heard he made thousands of pounds out of the scam, which saw him fill out penalty notices on behalf of drivers, using false details and a string of addresses.

Northumbria Police began a three-year investigation after it was noticed an address belonging to Ahmed kept appearing on returned penalty notices that were never resolved, between October 2015 and June 2016.

'Large-scale operation'

Ahmed, of Vale Street, Sunderland, admitted 16 counts of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice as well as money laundering.

Fourteen of his clients have also been convicted of conspiracy and given suspended prison terms.

A Northumbria force spokeswoman said: "Syed Shahed Ahmed ran a large-scale operation in the heart of our community, but today it has come crashing down around him.

"Ahmed showed a total disregard for the law and thought he was too clever to be caught.

"He appeared to thrive from his criminality and reputation within his circles as 'the fixer'".

The court heard officers trawled through hundreds of hours of CCTV footage to track down Ahmed's customers.

The spokeswoman added: "Most speeding offences result in an offer to attend a speed awareness course or three penalty points and a fine.

"However, by allowing Ahmed to provide police with false information on their behalf, the defendants have now received a far greater punishment."

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