300-crash fraud gang convicted

Five men including the owner of an accident management company have been jailed for their part in a car fraud scam dating back to 2012 worth £1.1m in fake personal injury claims.

The scam was masterminded by Mohammed Zubair Jamil and involved teams of fraudsters deliberately causing collisions with innocent motorists.

A decoy car would break heavily in traffic, causing a second vehicle with passengers in to slam on brakes in front of pre-selected innocent motorists car or van. The passengers would then make false insurance claims through Jamil’s accident management firm based in Hertfordshire.

It’s believed the fraudsters caused up to 300 collisions this way.

Investigations began in 2012 and the decisive evidence was provided by a telematics box installed in one of the fraudster’s vehicles.

That data was analysed and interpreted by fraud investigation experts, APU Ltd, who gave evidence in court deemed so compelling that further prosecution witnesses were no longer required.

Jamil was sentenced to five years behind bars with other sentences starting at 16 months.

Neil Thomas, director of investigative services at APU Ltd, said, ‘We have been hard on the heels of crash for cash fraudsters for years now and have even identified new tactics the criminal gangs have started to employ.

‘We were very pleased to be able to assist the police, the courts and ultimately the victims as expert witnesses. The depth of data available via cutting edge telematics systems necessitates a scientific approach to interpret crucial information into meaningful evidence, then it needs to be presented in court so that the layman can understand it.

‘This particular criminal network caused hundreds of fake accidents, all of which were planned but any of which could have gone badly wrong. He and the other men were putting lives at risk and I am delighted that APU and the Met Police have been instrumental in serving justice to another dangerous group of individuals.’

The judge of the trial, HH J Barrie, added, ‘In short, this was a well-planned and carefully executed operation involving orchestrated collisions on public roads involving innocent members of the public.

‘The idea that crash for cash frauds are victimless crimes has to be rebuffed immediately. The impact of this offending on the insurance industry is substantial and this in turn leads to routine increases in insurance premiums for the wider public.

‘The manner of the driving in the collisions is inherently dangerous involving the sudden slamming on of brakes in traffic, often at night and often in poor weather conditions. Unlike the fraudsters, the innocent occupants of the cars behind have no opportunity to prepare or brace themselves for the impact.

‘Moreover, no regard is had at all for the occupants of those cars or their vulnerability. In short, the risk to innocent members of the public of serious injury or worse cannot be underestimated in this type of fraud involving deliberate dangerous driving.’