Birmingham crash for cash gang sentenced
A crash for cash gang from Birmingham that staged an accident in order to make over £30k in insurance claims has been sentenced at the Old Bailey.
The group was sentenced to a total of 37 months’ imprisonment (suspended for two years), ordered to pay £10,800 in compensation and costs and ordered to carry out over 700hrs of unpaid work.
The fraud was uncovered after the insurer, RSA, became suspicious and referred the case to officers from the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department, part of the City of London Police. Detectives eventually found messages on the phone of one of the suspects, which detailed how he was struggling to pay for the finance on the car involved and had arranged to stage the crash to get a pay-out from the insurer.
On 8 July, 2013, Maqsood Ahmed contacted his insurer, RSA, to report that he’d been involved in a collision whilst driving his Citroen C4 in Lea Hall Road, Birmingham the night before.
Ahmed claimed that he was driving along the street when he bent down to pick up a phone that had been dropped by a passenger, and in doing so lost control and hit a parked Mercedes C63 AMG.
Mohammed Munir, the owner of the Mercedes also got in touch with RSA later the same day to report the damage to his car.
Both vehicles were recovered by the same company ‘Road Accident Help’ but when RSA subsequently came to collect the vehicles and take them to their approved garage, they were charged excessively high fees for the storage of the vehicles, which had only been stored for two days.
Furthermore, two passengers in Ahmed’s car at the time of the collision, Khalid and Kashif Mahmood, also submitted personal injury claims totalling over £8,000 via Road Accident Help.
However, when RSA’s engineers examined the two cars, they noted that the damage to the vehicles was not consistent with the story given. In addition, the general condition of the Citroen (aside from the collision damage) was so bad that it was, in their opinion, not driveable and the case was referred to IFED officers to investigate.
All four were arrested on 21 January 2014 and officers also seized phones belonging to the men. When they examined Munir’s phone, they found messages sent by Munir to another number, where he was asking to find somebody willing to stage a collision and take the blame. Further enquiries revealed that Munir bought the Mercedes on finance and was struggling to make the payments on it.
Naveed Mohammed, who was a partner in Road Accident Help was also interviewed in May 2015 and officers questioned him about the recovery of the two vehicles. Although he initially claimed that Ahemd and Munir called him for the vehicles to be recovered, phone records showed that no calls were made or received at the times claimed, which showed that the ‘recovery’ never happened.
All five were eventually charged with conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation, with Munir also charged with money laundering (in relation to the benefit he received from the hire car RSA provided initially after the collision).