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Replacement engine and numbers

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Hi, I am currently in the process of gathering parts to re-chassis (no, it's now more of a total rebuild) my Landrover 90. It currently has a 300tdi fitted but I have another one that I have rebuilt the bottom end on that I will swop the head and ancillaries over to during the build. This is a simple job and will require me to send a letter off to the DVLA with my new engine number when it's complete to make sure the log book is correct.

Whilst discussing this with a friend at the weekend he wasn't aware of the engine number and DVLA procedure and he has a 300tdi discovery that has over heated. His plan is to buy a complete second hand engine as they are relatively cheap and easily obtainable. There's lots listed on a certain auction site and advertised at local breakers but is there any way to check if the engine number is from a stolen vehicle?

Obviously he doesn't want to fit the engine, send off the log book and then find out he's fitted a engine that shouldn't have been sold to him. I overcame this problem by buying a MOT fail discovery and used it as a donor but he doesn't have the space to dismantle 2 landrovers.

So does anyone know of a register or database or is the only option to ask the seller for the engine number and then call the local police station and ask them to check it?

Hopefully someone else has some experience with this.

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