Motorway crash-for-cash fraudsters heading to prison

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Three men who carried out a crash-for-cash plan on a motorway slip road in Coventry have been sentenced to at least 20 months in prison, following a City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) investigation.

All three men pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation at Birmingham Crown Court last week. Mohammed Azam and Husnain Ahmed were sentenced to 25 months in prison, while Sufyan Lone received a 20-month sentence.

The City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) led on the investigation and was initially made aware of the trio’s fraudulent activity through a referral from Hastings Insurance.

Hastings Insurance received a call from one of its customers who believed he was the victim of a crash-for-cash plan. The customer provided Hastings Direct with his own dash-cam footage to substantiate his belief.

The footage revealed that two cars in front of the customer were driving erratically and very close together. As the two cars travelled along the slip road of the motorway, the one directly in front of the customer carried out an emergency stop, causing him to collide into the rear of it.

Detective constable Kevin Hughes, who the led the investigation for IFED, said: “These men were solely focused on making a financial gain and clearly didn’t care about endangering the innocent driver they targeted, as well as other drivers in the area.”

“Despite driving at such a high speed, thankfully no-one was seriously injured and it resulted in was these men getting the punishment they rightly deserve.”

When IFED questioned Azam, who was driving, he stated that he’d been involved in a road rage incident with the car in front, which caused him to suddenly stop. One of the men who got out of the car directly after the collision also claimed they had to brake because of a lorry travelling along the motorway.

Hastings Direct also received footage from a person who was driving behind the cars at the time of the incident. Their footage revealed there was no lorry or indications of road rage and also showed how they and another driver had to swerve out of the way to narrowly avoid the collision themselves.

After the collision, all three men put in personal injury claims for whiplash and car hire costs. In total, the fraudulent claims amounted to £28,161, but Hastings Direct rejected the claim.

Matt Stevens, director of counter fraud at Hastings Direct, said of the prison sentences: “We make significant investment in counter fraud operations to protect honest customers from criminal activity. The sentencing in this case sends out a strong message and we are delighted to work with the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department and bring these fraudsters to justice.”

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Mark Dugdale is the editor of Claims Media. Mark welcomes articles, letters or feedback from readers and can be reached via mark.dugdale@barkerbrooks.co.uk