Upminster refugee and his brother jailed for �18,000 robbery

TWO Bosnian refugees - one who lived in Upminster - who robbed a Swiss taxi driver of �18,000 after luring him to London by offering him a low-cost mortgage were jailed for a total of 15 years yesterday.

Brothers Dani Hasani, of St Mary’s Lane, Upminster, and Misko Hasani, of Langton Avenue, East Ham, locked Marcel Cherbet in their car and savagely beat him with a perfume bottle before grabbing his money.

In a desperate struggle the pair told their victim “it’s finished”, leaving Mr Cherbet in fear he would be driven away and killed.

Older brother Dani had posed as a legitimate mortgage broker and set up a fake website offering cut-rate loans in return for a cash advance fee.

The brothers, who came to this country as refugees from Bosnia when they were children, appeared for sentence at Southwark Crown Court yesterday after they admitted robbery.

Dani, 27, was jailed for nine years, while Misko, 25, received a six year term.

Judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith said: “The victim was somehow persuaded that he would have to pay a cash fee, so you must be quite proficient fraudsmen.

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“The poor man flew to this country and went to meet you.

“You Dani Hasani had prepared for this meeting carefully.

“This was an advance fee fraud where you had decided that if the money was not paid, you would resort to violence.

“It was a carefully thought out plan, and you stood to gain �18,000.”

Thomas Wilkins, prosecuting, told the court in 2008, Dani Hasani set up a website apparently offering mortgages at reasonable rates.

He was contacted last year by Mr Cherbet, who wished to apply for a loan of �210,000.

Dani Hasani, using a fake name, offered to provide him the money, but said he would need an upfront “advance fee”.

The victim agreed to the offer, and flew to London with 30,000 Swiss Francs, the equivalent of �18,000 Sterling, in his suitcase.

In November 12 last year, Mr Cherbet and Dani Hasani met in a Starbucks in Westbourne Grove, West London.

The Hasani brothers had arrived for the meeting in a car registered under a fake name, with the number plate altered using black tape.

They entered the cafe separately and did not speak to each other as they waited for the victim.

Mr Cherbet arrived that afternoon and spoke to Dani for nearly an hour in English and German, discussing interest payments, the length of time the loan would last and the cash advance fee.

Eventually Dani suggested that he go to his car to count the money, but the “wary” victim insisted on coming with him.

But once his brother had counted the cash, Misko, who had been waiting nearby, attacked Mr Cherbet, punching him in the face.

As Dani got into the car ready to drive off, the victim jumped into the back seat on top of the bag containing the money.

Misko also jumped in and continued to hit him, while Dani pulled out a glass perfume bottle, sprayed Mr Cherbet in the face with it and smashed it into the top of his head.

The victim later recalled that one of his attackers then activated the central locking system and said “now it’s finished”.

Mr Wilkins said: “He panicked, thinking they were going to drive him to a quiet spot and kill him, so he struck out and tried to kick out the windows and shout for help.

“At this point, they started to drive away, but they didn’t get far, as Mr Cherbet grabbed the wheel and managed to attract the attention of passers by.”

The two robbers then leapt out of the car and escaped on foot, with Dani grabbing the money before making his getaway.

Police later managed to identify the brothers, with Misko arrested in December last year and Dani this April.

The court heard Dani Hasani, who has an extensive criminal record, is a father of five who had never worked and lived on benefits.

Karl Volz, defending Dani, said that his client had made good progress in prison, and had taken a mechanic’s course in the hope of finding work on his release.

Mustapha Hakme, for Misko Hasani, said that Misko was the main carer for his disabled mother.

They both admitted robbery.

Dani also admitted two charges of fraud by false representation in relation to the theft of a woman’s purse in a separate incident.