A MOTHER of two who played a key role in identifying Asian properties for gangs to burgle throughout the UK was jailed for four-and-a-half years.
Claudia Santos, 40, of West Norwood London, was sentenced at Lewes Crown Court on Friday, 15 May for conspiracy to commit burglary.
Santos, a mother of two, had previously pleaded guilty at the same venue, having had a key role in identifying Asian properties to burgle throughout the UK.
According to police, Santos had operated within a group that used a systematic and targeted approach to burgling houses.
She helped pinpoint Asian addresses to steal jewellery that had been passed down through the generations, and had identified as many as 800 potential victims.
Operation Phoenix, a multi-agency intelligence gathering operation involving the Met and several other police forces and agencies, was set up to try to identity and dismantle a Latin American organised crime group.
The group was operating internationally committing hundreds of Asian gold burglaries, high value jewellery snatches of up to £300,000 and bank withdrawal distractions.
It is understood that many of the offenders falsely claimed to be Mexican and Guatemalan and were entering the UK using fraudulently obtained passports, mainly from Mexico.