Gatwick airport ‘meet and greet’ boss made £1m by tricking holidaymakers with online images of a hospital car park 400 miles away… then dumping vehicles in muddy fields, court hears
Asad Malik, 37, told customers they were getting secure airport valet parking
Used picture of Borders General Hospital car park 400 miles away in Scotland
Malik, of Crawley, took cars on joy-rides and dumped them in a field, court heard
He denies six counts of fraud and is on trial at Lewes Crown Court this week
By LARA KEAY FOR MAILONLINE
6 June 2018
A Gatwick Airport parking scam saw customers duped out of £1 million before their cars were joy-ridden and dumped in muddy fields, a court heard.
Asad Malik, 37, and his company London Parking Gatwick Ltd are accused of six counts of fraud over a period of a year.
Lewes Crown Court heard Malik, of Crawley, convinced customers their cars would be safe by showing them a picture of Borders General Hospital car park in Melrose, Scotland 400 miles away.
They thought their vehicles were being kept safe with valet cleaning facilities and 24-hour CCTV supervision.
But in reality they were being driven illegally and dumped in fields in the Ifield area, at petrol stations and even a mosque near the West Sussex airport, the jury heard.
Malik also left fake reviews on his own website so clients would trust him, jurors were told. He denies the charges against him.
Richard Heller, barrister for West Sussex County Council Trading Standards, told the hearing that the cars were used for joy-rides and to tow other vehicles before being parked in muddy fields unlocked or with the keys stuck to the windscreen in a clear plastic bag.
The jury were told cars were driven extra miles, returned dirty and damaged to their owners or not returned at all.
Malik, of Crawley, West Sussex, fraudulently claimed customers’ cars would be kept secure and returned undamaged, he said.
He also told customers they had no right to complain after leaving the airport despite warnings from Trading Standards officers he was breaking the law.
Customers cars were used to drag other vehicles through mud, returned damaged and dirty and complaints were ignored, Mr Heller said.
Richard Heller said Malik and LPG were one and the same.
The websites operated by Malik also included fake customer reviews, he added, saying: ‘Their provenance must be regarded as somewhat dubious. [You think?]
‘Mr John Smith left a review in December 2014 in which he described how his ‘experience with them was the most suitable one, as I paid very less there which was the around trip of taxi fare and got the full service both ends of my journey’.'[Sic].
Several complaints were uncovered by Trading Standards Officers and more unhappy customers came forward during the investigation.
‘In June 2016, Sylvia Goodman said her car was returned with a bent key, the language on the dashboard display was changed to one she didn’t recognise, there was hardly any fuel left, it was dirty, the time had been changed and there was litter in the car including a Co-Op receipt for mini garlic naans,’ Mr Heller said.
The naan breads had been purchased four-and-a-half hours after she dropped her car off at the airport expecting it to be parked a few minutes drive away, the court heard.
Read more: wwww.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-58ww11683/Gatwick-airport-1million-parking-scam-tricked-customers-picture-Scotland-hospital-car-park.html