Crook recruiting women to swap fakes at jewellers with secret mobile.
A criminal has been running a sleight-of-hand gang targeting Tag Heuer stockists in Scotland from inside his prison cell.
According to an investigation by Scottish newspaper the Sunday Mail, Azeem Sarwaar has been recruiting young women to enter jewellers and swap the store’s real Tag Heuer timepieces with fakes that he has imported from Dubai.
Sarwaar is said to have been running the operation from inside Castle Huntly prison where he is serving 12 years for assault, robbery and firearms offenses.
The scam has been targeting Tag Heuer watches with retail price tags of up to £10,000 – suspected to be the Grand Carrera range – and a string of texts from Sarwaar to a young woman he was trying to recruit show that he was actively targeting Glasgow’s Argyll Arcade, which has four Tag Heuer stockists.
However, none of the jewellers in the Argyll Arcade have reported falling victim to such a scam, according to Ronald Sinclair, branch manager at Watches of Switzerland in the Argyll Arcade, a claim echoed by Louise Cuthbertson, store manager at Mappin & Webb in the Argyll Arcade.
The Scottish Prison Service is now looking into the claims that Sarwaar is using a mobile phone to organise the scam from within his cell.