Through the work of Hastings Direct and IFED (Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department) six individuals have been brought to justice in two separate ‘crash for cash’ cases.
On Friday 7 June 2019, three men pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation and were subsequently sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court.
Mohammed Azam, 47, and Husnain Ahmed, 22, from Birmingham were each sentenced to 25 months imprisonment. Sufyan Lone, 25, also from Birmingham was sentenced to 20 months imprisonment.
The three men were jailed for carrying out a ‘crash for cash’ plan on a motorway slip road in Coventry. Their manoeuvre caused the innocent driver they targeted to collide with them at around 50mph.
The City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) led on the investigation and were initially made aware of the trio’s fraudulent activity through a referral from Hastings Insurance. Hastings had received a call from a customer 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 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.
In addition to the customer's dash-cam footage, Hastings Direct 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.
Matt Stevens, Director of Counter Fraud at Hastings Direct, said, “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.”
After the collision, all three men put in personal injury claims for whiplash. In total, the fraudulent claims amounted to £28,161, which also comprised of car hire costs. However, in light of the dash-cam footage and the first-hand accounts of the customer and the other drivers behind, Hastings Direct rejected the claim.
To view the dash-cam footage, please visit https://youtu.be/xrS4wRNd_9k
A brother and sister, along with their friend, received suspended sentences for carrying out a ‘crash for cash’ scheme on a roundabout, the victim of which was a pregnant woman.
The three individuals pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation and were sentenced on 14 June 2019, following the criminal investigation led by the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED).
Kuljit Bains, 42, and Amanjit Bains, 35, from Birmingham were each sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for 18 months and 150 hours community service. Avenesh Patel, 36, from Southall was sentenced to four months in prison, suspended for 18 months.
The trio were initially brought to IFED’s attention following a referral from Hastings Insurance, who were suspicious of personal injury claims the trio made in relation to a vehicle collision on a motorway roundabout in West Bromwich.
IFED discovered that the victim had manoeuvred behind the fraudsters’ car on the roundabout, when, for no apparent reason, they suddenly braked, causing their victim to crash into the back of them. Mr Bains claimed that a car in front had caused them to brake suddenly.
Detective Constable Kevin Hughes, who the led the investigation for IFED, said, “In an effort to make some money, these fraudsters put the safety of the victim and other drivers around them at serious risk. It’s a relief to know that no-one was injured, including the victim. Thankfully she and her baby were unhurt.
“Thanks to the initial referral by Hastings Direct and their support throughout our investigation, we were able to ensure these fraudsters were brought to justice.”
While the perpetrators and victim were exchanging details, the driver of a heavy goods vehicle (HGV), who saw the incident, approached them and pretended that he’d caught the collision on his dash-cam. When the HGV driver later provided a statement to IFED, he said he’d lied about having footage to quell the situation, as he had strong suspicions that it was a ‘crash for cash’ plan.
Mr Bains became visibly agitated after the HGV driver told them he had footage of the collision. He even altered the mobile number given to him by the HGV driver before he passed it onto the victim.
Fortunately, the HGV driver noticed this and provided the victim with the correct details so that she could contact him at a later date to substantiate her belief that she was indeed a victim of a ‘crash for cash’ deception.
Matt Stevens, Director of Counter Fraud at Hastings Direct, said, “We are proud of our ongoing work with the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department to bring fraudsters to justice. By investigating these crimes and through our ongoing investment in counter fraud operations, we will continue to protect innocent customers.”
Both the victim and the HGV driver stated that there was only ever two people in the car, thus proving Patel had put in his claim as a ‘ghost’ passenger.
Hastings Direct received personal injury claims from Mr Bains, Miss Bains and Mr Patel. Each of them stated that they’d either suffered injuries to their spine, upper back or shoulders. The total value of the claims was £18,000, but the insurer rejected the claims.