Mechanics use stolen parts to fix insurance write-offs in Northfleet and Meopham
Maidstone Crown Court,
where Infanti and Anderson were sentenced
Two mechanics who used stolen car parts to repair insurance
write-offs have each been jailed for almost three years.
Michael Infanti and Seaman Anderson, both 34, were said to be
jointly responsible for the illicit operation based at two
industrial units in Northfleet and a workshop in Meopham.
Maidstone Crown Court heard that when police raided the three
premises in September last year they found car parts which belonged
to at least 21 stolen vehicles with a total value of just over
Neither Infanti nor Anderson were responsible for the actual
thefts of the cars, but Mr Justice Nicol told them during their
sentencing hearing that offending such as theirs "helps and
Jailing Infanti, of Russett Way, Swanley, for 32 months and
Anderson, of Thirlmere Road, Bexleyheath, for 34 months, the High
Court judge said: "The offence is part of legislation aimed at
countering the laundering of the proceeds of crime.
"It is made a criminal offence in part because the laundering of
criminal property fosters the original criminal activity, in this
case the theft of cars."
Infanti and Anderson, who at the time of his arrest owned a
Ferrari worth £100,000, both admitted disguising criminal property
between January and September last year.
Mr Justice Nicol explained that Anderson's sentence was longer
because at the time of the offending he was on bail for a drug
offence and subject to an electronically-tagged curfew.
Accepting that they received parts rather than whole cars, he
added: “There is often the case that there is a mismatch between
the harm caused to the victims and the benefit gained by criminals.
Your activity helps and encourages thieving.”
The court was told that the pair were originally buying
insurance write-offs and repairing them for onward sale
"Your activity helps and encourages thieving" – Mr Justice Nicol
However, they were
said to have "turned a blind eye" when offered parts at cheap
Prosecutor Francesca Levett said many of the cars stolen were
Fiat 500s and were known as "keyless" thefts, whereby the owner
retains the key.
Some of the car doors later recovered revealed small drill holes
under the driver's handle which had been made to interrupt the
One victim had only owned his Mercedes E-class, worth almost
£36,000, for one day while another motorist told police her car was
the last link to her husband who had died shortly before the
vehicle was stolen.
When police raided EKP Bodyshop on Northfleet Industrial Estate
they found Infanti sitting inside a Fiat 500 which had been
declared an insurance write-off in July last year.
However, the windscreen belonged to a vehicle stolen on
September 7, and front panels and other components belonged to a
car stolen in August.
The other premises used by the two men were on nearby Rod End
Industrial Estate and Little Rose Farm in Meopham.
Miss Levett said a "significant" quantity of parts were found at
the premises but could not be linked to actual stolen vehicles
because of the lack of identification marks.
She told the court that the true extent of the operation could
not be determined "with any degree of certainty".
However, in 2009 father-of-two Anderson was said to have assets
of just £5, yet by his arrest last year owned a property worth
£350,000 as well as the Ferrari.
The court also heard that police found photographs on Anderson's
iPad showing him working on the vehicles, as well as an app
detailing a list of cars and prices.
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