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Manchester Airport: Man jailed over meet-and-greet parking fraud

A man whose "meet and greet" service promised to put air passengers' cars in a secure compound but instead left them in a farmer's field has been jailed.

Mohammed Isaq, of Davenport Green Hall, Hale Barns, charged up to £70 to collect cars from Manchester Airport between August 2017 and February 2018 and park them securely.

The 62-year-old instead left up to 500 cars in the field or nearby streets.

Isaq admitted fraudulent trading and was sentenced to 17 months in prison.

Manchester Crown Court heard some vehicles were returned damaged and scratched, with mud both inside and out, and had clearly been used without the permission of the owners while they were away.

The court was told Isaq was involved with three firms, one of which suffered a break-in at its "office", which was actually the back of a broken-down van.

The break-in led to 130 sets of keys and several vehicles being stolen, which caused "chaos" when owners returned to the airport.

One customer used an app on her mobile phone while abroad to track her car and found it was being driven around Manchester while the firm insisted it was in a compound.

Adam Pearson, prosecuting, said another driver received two parking fines while his car was supposed to be parked up with the firm.

A further driver, who owned a BMW, took a photo of his mileage before his trip and found his car had been driven 688 miles while he was away.

He also found cigarette papers and cannabis inside the vehicle.

Mr Pearson said another car had suffered "substantial damage" in a crash with a bus, which was captured on the bus's internal camera.

The three parking firms Isaq was involved with, which operated one after another as each was dissolved, were Manchester Airport Parking Ltd, Manchester Airport Parking Services and Manchester Meet and Greet Ltd.

The court heard the combined turnover was up to £200,000, but the extent of the fraudulent trading was between £30,000 and £100,000.

Jailing Isaq, Judge John Potter said he had been the "main instigator" involved in the "exploitation of consumers by the adoption of unscrupulous business practices".

He added that customers had endured "a litany of incompetence, lack of planning and wilful neglect".

Isaq, who had previous convictions for VAT fraud and breaking fire regulations, was also banned from being a company director for six years.

His son, Sultan Khan, 28, and daughter, Amani, 27, who acted as directors for one of the firms, pleaded guilty to breaking consumer protection laws by negligence.

Each was given an 18-month community order and 200 hours' unpaid work.

A proceeds of crime hearing will take place at a later date to recover prosecution costs and compensation for motorists affected.

Speaking after sentencing, Trafford Council, which brought the prosecution, said it was "an appalling case in which customers were lied to and taken advantage of".

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