March 10 2014 Latest news:
Lizzie Dearden, Senior reporter
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
The final member of a gang of men who smashed up top-end cars with baseball bats at “crash parties” as part of an insurance scam has been jailed.
Ferdhaus was the final man to be jailed under Operation Scarp.
Ringleader Haque, 29, of Lydford Road, Kilburn was sentenced to five years in prison and salesman Yusuf, 36, of Sandhurst Drive, Goodmayes, was given four.
Shalim Miah, 31, of Rampayne Street, Pimlico, was jailed for two years and Nazruislam Rahman, 34, of Turner Avenue, Tottenham, was given to a suspended one-year jail term and 140 hours of unpaid work.
Noveed Akthtar, 42, of Cochrane Court, Leyton, was sentenced to a year in jail and Halimur Rashid, 30, of Leamington Gardens, Goodmayes, was given fifteen months.
Businessman Mohammed Mahee Ferdhaus, 40, was sentenced to three years for laundering at least half a million pounds from a “crash for cash” con.
Also known as Jay Ferdhaus, of Prettigate Farm, Little Warley, Brentwood, pleaded guilty to offences under the Proceeds of Crime Act and was sentenced at Southwark Crown Court on Monday.
His six accomplices, including two men from Goodmayes, were sentenced in October 2011 following a four-year police operation.
The gang made £1.17million for themselves by faking insurance claims, police said.
Motor Alliance, a based in Tottenham, was set up by mastermind Mohammed Samsul Haque to handle fraudulent insurance claims offering storage facilities and replacement vehicle hire.
Police also unearthed evidence of a “crashing party” at the garage at the Motor Alliance premises where the gang enjoyed some food and drink before Haque and Rosul Yusuf ordered people to smash cheap cars into high-end vehicles including Mercedes, BMWs and Jaguars.
If the damage was not enough for a claim, they would then beat the most expensive cars with baseball bats, police said.
The conmen ensured the low value cars were always “at fault” in the fake claims, allowing them to make as much money as possible from repair costs for the damaged vehicle and storage.
They could make tens of thousands of pounds for a bogus courtesy car - often conveniently provided from the company’s stock of vehicles – by charging insurance companies up to £350 a day.
From November 2005 to October 2008 a number of London-based accident management companies were used as a front for at least 124 claims.
But the scam began to unravel after a duped insurance company tipped off the police about irregularities, leading officers to find 64 files relating to fake insurance claims in a 2008 raid that prompted the first arrests.
Over four years the investigating officers took over 500 witness statements and 10,000 pages of documentary evidence against the seven men.
Gants Hill became the focus of a Twitter frenzy over the weekend after One Direction singer Zayn Malik was spotted at nightclub Faces.