‘Crash for cash’: 11 people in court

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ELEVEN Peterborough residents alleged to have staged car accidents in a bid to rip off insurance companies appeared in court yesterday (24 January).

Peterborough Magistrates’ Court was told the alleged ‘crash for cash’ fraud had been going on for five years before the 11 were arrested by Cambridgeshire police.

The 11 are accused of staging a number of two-car road accidents during the five year period between January 2006 and January 2011.

It is alleged that before each accident took place, one car was selected to be the ‘victim’ car. The occupants in the ‘victim’ car would then claim damage and personal injury insurance.

During the hearing, which lasted about three minutes, the seven men and four women were each charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud insurance companies.

Court room two was packed as all the defendants appeared at the same time, with many of them crammed into the dock where they listened closely to the charges alleged against them. Others had to stand at the side of the dock because there was no room inside.

Two interpreters were used to help some defendants understand what was being said during the proceedings.

The 11 defendants are: Naeem Akhter (28) of Clare Road, Millfield, Mohammed Ali (20) of Clarence Road, Millfield, Ali Arshad (39) of Harris Street, Millfield, Ali Askher (44) of Silverwood Road, Millfield, Misbah Hussain (29) of Harris Street, Millfield, Shafaqat Hussain (26) of Harris Street, Millfield, Wahid Hussain (38) of Gladstone Street, Millfield, Shawizia Khatoon (32) of Hankey Street, Millfield, Rozmina Nathoo (43) of Briar Way, Newark, Taswin Nathoo (47) of Briar Way, Newark and Atia Rasul (43) of Clarence Road, Millfield.

None of the accused entered a plea during the hearing.

Many of the number remained silent as they sat in the dock, only speaking to identify themselves.

After confirming all the defendants’ names, dates of birth and addresses, the court clerk said: “It is alleged that between January 1, 2006 and January 5, 2011 you conspired together and with others to defraud insurance companies.

“It is a matter that can only be heard in the crown court.

“You are now committed to stand your trial at Peterborough Crown Court. Your next hearing will be there on Monday, January 31 at 10am.”

Nine of the alleged gang were granted unconditional bail until the next hearing.

Arshad was told he could not contact three witnesses in the case, while Askher was told he could not contact four witnesses, he had to surrender his passport to the police, and will have to report to Thorpe Wood Police Station on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Deputy District Judge Alan Jones said: “The case is now being sent for trial at Peterborough Crown Court.

“You have been given bail to be there on January 31 at 10am.

“Bail means you must be there by that time on that date or you commit an offence for which you can be jailed, fined or both. If you do not appear at your trial then it can be heard in your absence.”