Eleven charged over crash for cash scam

By Will Astbury

ELEVEN men have been charged in connection with an ongoing Greater Manchester Police inquiry into a so-called ‘crash for cash’ scam.

The following men have been charged with conspiracy to commit fraud and are due to appear before Stockport Magistrates Court on Friday 5 February 2010.

Mohammed Iqbal, 60, of Skerton Road, Old Trafford.

Jehangir Iqbal, 29, of Skerton Road, Old Trafford.

Hassan Raza Iqbal, 23, of Skerton Road, Old Trafford.

Kausar Iqbal Parveen, 28, of Skerton Road. Old Trafford.

Saeed Mahmood, 35, of York Avenue, Whalley Range.

Gurmukh Singh, 56, of Erlington Avenue, Old Trafford.

Mohammed Asif, 21, of Barton Road, Stretford.

Mohammed Nasir, 19, of Barton Road, Stretford.

Mohammed Yasser Asghar, 23, Barton Road, Stretford.

Barry Kellett, 21, of Manor Drive, Thornton-Cleveleys, Lancashire.

Abid Hussain Shah, 54, of Healdwood Drive, Burnley.

These are further charges arising from the ongoing Operation Contact investigation being conducted by Greater Manchester Police, into bogus insurance claims following traffic collisions.

In October 2009 Bolton man Mohammed Patel, 24, was jailed for four and a half years for masterminding a similar crash for cash scam.

He admitted to 17 charges including conspiracy to defraud, dangerous driving and disqualified driving.

Between 2005 and 2008, it is believed that Patel was the driver in at least 92 deliberately forced collisions. On each occasion he would lead the other driver to believe they were at fault.

An police investigation, supported by the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB), exposed the scam that could have led to an exposure to insurers of millions of pounds.

In 2005, workers at an office block at the Eden Point roundabout on the A34 in Cheadle became suspicious at the alarming regularity with which collisions were taking place at the same spot on the roundabout.

They noticed the collisions were always at low speed, and often, the same man was driving.

AXA insurance, one of the companies affected by the scam, investigated a number of the claims. In January 2008, the findings were presented to Greater Manchester Police.

The investigation revealed Patel deliberately caused collisions for whichever client was willing to give up his car keys and insurance details. He would be paid a fee while the claimants demanded compensation for personal injury, courtesy cars and legal fees at the expense of the other party’s insurers.

In some instances, the damage to the cars being used was fabricated, and on occasions exaggerated.

From his earnings, Patel treated his girlfriend at the time, Ettorina Hay, to a number of gifts, including cash, two luxury cars and foreign holidays.

FRAUD: Patel treated his girlfriend to luxury cars and holidays with his scam earnings

Sgnt Mark Beales, from the Specialist Operations Branch, who has led the police investigation said: “Patel was prepared to put lives in danger to make money.

“This abuse of the insurance claims system has implications for all law-abiding road users.”

John Beadle, chairman of the IFB, commented: “The cost of insurance fraud adds on average £44 to every policyholder’s insurance premium annually. We would like to commend the office workers who spotted this dangerous activity for their vigilance and public-spiritedness.”

Anyone who has information about insurance fraud should call the Bureau’s free and confidential Cheatline on 0800 3282550 or report it online at http://www.insurancefraudbureau.org/report.

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One Response

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