An elaborate ‘crash for cash’ scam in south-east England has been foiled by the Metropolitan Police. The fraud involved 19 people, including a company boss, and generated £1.1m in fake personal injury claims.

The criminals staged deliberate collisions with innocent drivers so they could then sue for injuries. Mohammed Zubair Jamil masterminded the scheme, processing false insurance claims through his accident management company, based in Hertfordshire.

The Met Police estimates that, in total, Mr Jamil and his accomplices have caused around 300 car crashes.

Telematics data used to catch fraudsters

The gang were caught after a telematics box  installed in the ‘lead’ car provided data on a fake crash. The data was analysed by fraud investigation experts, APU Ltd, who concluded the crash must have been intentional.

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. 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.”

Five members of the gang jailed

Sentencing five of the gang to jail terms ranging from 16 months to four-and-a-half years, Judge HH J Barrie said: “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.”

“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.”