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Students jailed for police scam

PUBLISHED: 11:39 01 May 2009 | UPDATED: 10:39 09 July 2010

TWO students who used TV props to pose as police and target lone women on Havering streets, were jailed for two years on Friday. Cunning Ali Liakat, 20, of Juliette Road, Plaistow, and Syed Mohiwan, 19, of Balfour Road, Ilford, mocked up a car with blue f

TWO students who used TV props to pose as police and target lone women on Havering streets, were jailed for two years on Friday.

Cunning Ali Liakat, 20, of Juliette Road, Plaistow, and Syed Mohiwan, 19, of Balfour Road, Ilford, mocked up a car with blue flashing lights and sirens - bought from companies which supply equipment to TV dramas and the emergency services - to pull over unsuspecting motorists around the borough.

They would demand on the spot fines for speeding or driving with no insurance.

The baby-faced pair, both studying at Newham College at the time, wore imitation stab vests and even created fake Met Police warrant cards to convince their victims.

One woman was told they would seize her car if she did not hand over £60. The two followed her home to collect the money.

Another called police after discovering her mobile phone had been taken following the search of her car.

When officers searched their homes they discovered police batons, handcuffs, fluorescent vests and police-style radios.

On Liakat's computer officers found material to produce fake police IDs, information on how to trace a car registration number to its owner and links to the Met website.

Jailing both for theft and impersonating police officers, Judge Ian Graham said: "So effective was your pretense that those who were stopped by you were taken in that you were police officers."

"It is a feature of this case that the offences were committed late at night and on lone women - I'm quite satisfied that they were specifically targeted.

"Both of you have brought great shame on your families."

Basildon Crown Court heard how "fantasist" Liakat, who had applied to become a police special constable, but was rejected, admitted stopping up to three people a day in May, last year.

Crimes were recorded in Collier Row, Rainham, Loughton, Waltham Cross and further afield. Police suspect there may have been more victims of the duo.

Mohiwan was on bail for a £5,000 eBay fraud when he committed the offences. He will now not be able to complete his first year of an electrical engineering degree course at Queen Mary University.

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