A combined 109 years in prison for the three men who killed five in an insurance scam last year

Three men have been handed life sentences after being found guilty of murder after blowing up their supermarket as part of a butched insurance scam.

Earlier this month, Aram Kurd, Arkan Ali and Hawkar Hassan were convicted of the murder of five people, including a family and Ali’s girlfriend, when they set fire to the Zabka supermarket in Hinckley Road, Leicester, last February.

They used up to 60 litres of petrol, mixed with flammable liquid, sprayed all over the shop’s basement to fuel the fire.

Ali’s girlfriend, Viktorija Ijevleva, was apparently left in the shop by the men, because she “knew too much” about the insurance scam that was taking place.

The plan was to profit from an over inflated insurance claim as they set to benefit from around £300,000. Ijevleva was also believed to be involved in the build-up as she was present when the three men purchased the fuel, but was betrayed by the three men.

In the flat above the shop, Mary Ragoobeer, her sons, Shane and Sean, and Shane’s girlfriend, Leah Reek were also killed as a result of the blast.


After being convicted of murder, all three men were sentenced on Friday (18 January) at Leicester Crown Court to:

  • Aram Kurd, 34, of Hillary Place, Leicester, was given a life sentence, to serve a minimum of 38 years
  • Ali, 38, of Drake Close, Oldham, was also given a life sentence, to serve a minimum of 38 years
  • Hassan, 33, of Eld Road, Coventry, was given a life sentence, with a minimum of 33 years

“So much devastation”

Detective chief Inspector Michelle Keen, the senior investigating officer (SIO), said: “As an SIO I’ve never dealt with a job that caused so much devastation, both to the families’ who’ve lost family members and to the wider community. The impact of this incident is still clear to see almost a year on, and the families will never recover from their loss.

“And all because of the callous actions of these three men who were motivated by money and greed.

“Today marks the end of a long and complex investigation and provides, I hope, some closure to the families whose strength, resolve and dignity throughout the last year has been nothing short of remarkable.

“The lengthy sentences handed down today are reflective of the hideous crimes carried out by the defendants.

“The level of planning carried out prior to the explosion showed they had no regard for human life, and only had one thing in mind – getting their hands on the money from the fraudulent insurance claim.

“While the conviction and sentences can never bring those loved ones back, I hope that it’s of some comfort knowing those responsible are in prison for many, many years to come.”

The investigation

Throughout the ten-month investigation officers obtained 1,123 statements, carried out 2,583 other enquiries, recovered 2,595 exhibits and conducted 48 interviews of suspects.

Officers also trawled more than 700 hours of CCTV, tracking the movements of the defendants, pulling together the case for the prosecution. Some of this footage has been included in a short film detailing the extensive investigation below.