Beckton man faces jail for his part in £5.6milion ‘crash for cash’ scam
- Credit: Archant
A Beckton man who was part of a “crash for cash” gang that deliberately caused road accidents in a £5,6million scam is facing jail after being found guilty of conspiracy to fraud.
Yousaf Haider, 44, of Tansy Close, was found guilty of two counts of conspiracy to defraud following a five week trial at Isleworth Crown Court.
Haider was part of a gang-of-six that would recruit drivers who were willing to hand their cars over to be deliberately smashed into - commonly known as “stooge vehicles”.
The gang would then drive their own “decoy” cars in convoy with the stooge vehicles until a suitable victim was found.
The two vehicles would then position themselves directly in front of the victim’s car and then at an opportune moment the decoy vehicle would brake hard, causing the stooge vehicle to over-exaggerate the braking and stop.
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This would result in the victim’s vehicle crashing into the back of their vehicle.
Detective Chief Superintendent Paul Rickett, MPS Roads and Transport Policing Command said: “This was an audacious criminal act, carried out by unscrupulous people whose sole aim was to line their pockets at the expense of their victims. They did not care whatsoever that their reckless acts endangered the lives of innocent people.
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“We are committed to detecting, disrupting and arresting those involved in crime as demonstrated by our thorough and robust investigation, which left no stone unturned in catching these offenders.”
Following the crashes, the gang would then make fraudulent claims through a claims management company, called Herald Claims Limited, which they operated in north London.
In all, the gang attempted to defraud the UK insurance industry of about £5.6million pounds.
As well as Haider, Samoon Baryali, 39, of Evelyn Avenue, Barnet, and Afaq Anjum Njum, 36, of Bayden Avenue, Salford were also found guilty of two counts of conspiracy to defraud, while Mohammad Farshad Samoon, 28, of Evelyn Avenue, Barnet, was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to defraud.
Muhammad Akik Miah, 38, of Exeter Road, Hounslow and Jalid Hanadzai, 24, of Gaydon Lane, Barnet pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to one count of conspiracy to defraud.
The convictions follow an intensive investigation and operation by the Metropolitan Police Service, under Operation Catcher, which was supported by Zurich Insurance, Direct Line Insurance Group, and the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB).
Mark Chiappino, Counter fraud manager with Direct Line Group said: “Insurance fraud of this nature is far from a victimless crime and there has been at least one innocent fatality following a “crash for cash” incident.
“It is estimated by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) to add £50 a year to the average household’s insurance premiums, to cover the cost of paying fraudulent insurance claims.”
Ben Fletcher, Director of the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB), added: “Induced accidents like this form part of the ‘crash for cash’ insurance fraud phenomenon and the reality is that these scams have a real impact on society by putting the lives of innocent people at risk and costing honest policy holders almost £400 million each year. Insurance cheats should be aware that the Insurance Fraud Bureau works very closely with the police and the insurance industry to detect fraudsters and bring them to justice.”