Thirty-four-year-old Talat Ali, of Rochdale, Greater Manchester, was involved in a car-ringing scam which led to the vehicle having the false plates fitted and being put up for sale on eBay.
He sold it to an unsuspecting member of the public who quickly realised what had happened and got the police involved.
Ali was sentenced yesterday to 10 months in jail for handling stolen goods and five months for fraud by false representation. During the sale process he had used the alias ‘Tanvir Ali,’ the Manchester Evening News reported, and had admitted both charges at a previous hearing.
The black BMW in question had been stolen in the Cheshire area in January this year, said the newspaper.
A couple of weeks later, it was advertised online, with the seller named as Tanvir Ali. Although the eventual purchaser made a number of bids, he lost the auction but ended up buying the car after a subsequent text-message exchange with Ali.
After taking possession of the car at a price of £14,000, the buyer became suspicious and detectives subsequently discovered it was the same one that had been stolen previously.
Fingerprints found on the vehicle confirmed Talat Ali’s involvement in the scam.
Detective Constable Chris Nield, from Greater Manchester Police, told the newspaper that Ali had admitted selling the stolen car to pay off a drugs debt and had got in ‘way over his head’ with some local criminals.