Keoghs discovers the full extent of fraud operation after Kent Police arrest human trafficker

Keoghs and Kent Police have uncovered and taken down a £3.5m fraud ring, which was led by a human trafficker.

Following the identification of 25 linked claims involving staged accidents and of the company Essex Claims Limited, Operation Mets was formed.

Over its lifetime, it involved 76 road traffic collisions and 322 intimated damages claims, 318 of which were defeated.

Then in 2012, a police operation investigating people trafficker, Mohammed Sangak, uncovered 728 documents depicting the details of supposed road traffic accidents.

Photocopied identity documents relating to people involved in the accident claims were also discovered.

Further investigations revealed strong links between Sangak and Essex Claims Limited.

In arresting a people smuggler, the police had inadvertently snared the kingpin of Operation Mets.

Keoghs senior litigator, Stuart McFadyen, matched relevant damages claims with the seized diagrams, expanding his investigation to other alleged accidents involving linked personnel.

As a result, most solicitors abandoned their claims processes, and the rest were quickly dismantled in court.

Sangak was convicted of conspiracy to defraud insurance companies following a five-week trial during which Stuart McFadyen gave evidence on behalf of insurers.

He received a sentence of two years imprisonment, running consecutively to his eight-year people trafficking sentence.

Following the trial wins, senior barrister, Mark Stanger said;

“To a large extent, the smooth litigation process and positive outcomes were down to the joined-up approach of the Keoghs fraud rings and advocacy teams.

”This continuity ensured that upon the trials being twice adjourned by the court, there was no reduction in the quality of the defence and any duplication of costs was minimised. Indeed, the sheer size and complexity of Operation Mets presented a real case management challenge, with the hard work of Stuart McFadyen helping ensure the trials were dealt with inside the one-day time limit.”

Senior litigator, Stuart McFadyen, added: “The trial wins were a fantastic culmination of what was an extremely complex, intelligence-led investigation.

”The fact that nearly 99% of the claims we investigated were defeated demonstrates the value of having accurate data and intelligence available to us. This not only helped us focus our time and effort where it was most effective, it also helped us minimise the costs for our insurer clients and, in turn, their customers.”