Twelve members of two gangs involved in garage credit card scams have been jailed for a total of more than 50 years.
They were caught after gang warfare broke out between them, which led to one gang member being kidnapped and tortured before being locked in a trunk. It was only when police investigated the abduction that they discovered the massive credit card cloning operation.
The two gangs netted an estimated £333,000 from the fraud, which was run by fitting credit card cloning equipment in two petrol stations - the Snax 24 garage in Atherton, Lancashire, and the Aleef garage in Manchester Road, Bolton. Similar scams in other parts of the country are also being investigated.
Details of the case were revealed by Greater Manchester Police after the men were sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court. The only member of the gangs remaining to be sentenced is the kidnapped man, Raheel Mirza from London. He had been locked in a trunk, beaten on both legs with a hammer and tortured for 10 days, before being dumped in Leicestershire.
The scam developed into violence when the two gangs - one from London and the other from Bolton and Leicestershire - argued over the amount of money being made.
Those jailed were all in their 20s and 30s. All admitted various charges including kidnap, false imprisonment and conspiracy to defraud.Sentences passed ranged from 10 months to 11 years.