Luxury LifeStyle – Jewelry thieves pretended to be a false prince for a £ 1,500,000 robbery | Fintech zoom
Luxury LifeStyle – Jewelry thieves pretended to be a false prince for a £ 1,500,000 robbery
A jewel thief who posed as a “fake prince” to steal a daring £ 1.5 million jewel heist has disclosed his previous “double life” to deter teenagers from pursuing criminal careers.
Saqib Mumtaz, 48, was jailed in the late 1990s after he and three friends came up with a plan to steal multi-million dollar jewelry.
In the role of the brother of the Sultan of Brunei, they managed to convince a jeweler from Beverley Hills, California, to fly to London with a bag of luxury watches and necklaces for an upcoming wedding.
But the bag disappeared shortly after the exchange, and the gang was eventually arrested.
Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, Mr Mumtaz described how he first got involved in credit card fraud and used the stolen money to fund a lavish lifestyle.
He said, “I’ve led a double life – at home I was a good little Asian who studied and worked part-time.
“We would visit countries and live the crazy life on credit cards. Mainly it would be the rich Arabs and film directors, every famous one who had unlimited money to spend American Express.
“At the time, people around us were doing drugs and robberies and that was a path we didn’t want to go.”
He added, “We thought it wasn’t really bad using credit cards.
“I didn’t consider it a crime for not physically robbing any stores, homes, or drugs, so we thought it was a little harmless in some ways. Obviously it wasn’t, it was a crime. ‘
However, over the years, Mr. Mumtaz and his friends got bigger scores.
He told Echo that they targeted a store after finding out that the Sultan of Brunei had shopped there.
After weeks of researching every nook and cranny of the elaborate joke, they called and claimed they were interested in a selection of jewelry.
Mr. Mumtaz said: “We never talked about money because if you are rich you are not. We said we were having a wedding in England and we wanted her to come here.
“We said we would organize and pay for everything and asked if they could bring a selection of jewelry.”
He described how, during a phone call, they even pretended the jewelers were speaking from an airplane when they were actually sitting under a hood in a kitchen in Manchester.
Talking about the day of the robbery, he continued, “So they flew over and when they landed there was a limousine waiting for them, all paid for with different credit cards with flowers that reassure them.
“I asked one of my best friends to be the (false) prince.
“If you ask someone to do you a favor, something like that, they’ll wear millions of pounds of jewelry, it has to be someone you trust, you won’t just ask anyone.
“The jewelers had no bodyguards, there was just a man and a woman, and we had won their trust.
‘Now the bag is over, the chauffeur should drive off and then there will be chaos.’
The plan quickly began to disintegrate when the accomplice disguised himself when the wrong prince’s phone battery ran out and used the chauffeur’s phone to call one of the others on a personal number.
Detectives have also tracked down CCTV showing one of the others buying a Woolworth burner phone.
Weeks of surveillance and arrests followed, and Mr. Mumtaz’s co-defendants soon began talking to each other.
He told the Echo, “We had no choice but to put our hands up.
“The two guys who were arrested and on remand told me that they are listening, this is not going to work, you have to admit it.”
He added, “I was arrested and taken into custody. In the end, I knew they were going to get me.
“You can’t spend the years doing what we did and not pay for it. Only when you are young do you think you are invincible. ‘
He later admitted plotting to steal and gain property through deception and was imprisoned for three and a half years.
Mr Mumtaz said of the whole thing, “Fair enough, you are committing a crime, you are spending your time, and in a way I was glad I passed the time as it was because I realized – I am not going back. ”there again.
“My biggest thing was my family, they had no idea what I was doing and I thought of the embarrassment it would cause them.
“I come from an Asian community where my father worked all his life, never did anything wrong and paid his taxes for what I did. I had no history of crime in my household so I was just worried about my mom and dad and what they’re going to say because they had no idea. ‘
He said he still regrets what he and his friends have done to this day and is now trying to look after children and keep them away from a criminal life.
The father added, “I regret it, I have kids now and I am trying to mentor schools to let them know that crime is not the way to go.
“I do these interviews and if I can keep a kid from going down like that, it’s worth talking about.”
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