His sentencing follows his three accomplices being found guilty at trial last year

Zahid Hairan, 31, of Dryfield Road, Edgeware, London has been sentenced to 15 months’ imprisonment after carrying out a dangerous crash for cash plot.

Hairan was found guilty by a trial in his absence at Inner London Crown Court on Thursday 13 October 2022, after he fled the country to avoid prosecution.

His punishment follows his three accomplices being found guilty at trial for conspiracy to defraud in July 2021, which resulted in their sentencing later that year at Inner London Crown Court on 17 September.

Kudrat Azizi, 35, of Poppy Court, Headstone Drive, Harrow, received nine months’ imprisonment.

Ghulem Haider, 34, of Tadworth Road, Brent, received 12 months’ imprisonment.

Meanwhile, Miatullah Marufkhail, 30, of Railway Approach, Harrow, received 20 months’ imprisonment.

Overall, the four men made claims that could have cost the insurer a loss of £49,869.50.

CCTV footage and inconsistencies in the accounts of the men caused the insurer to refer the case to the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED).

Detective constable Haywood from the City of London Police’s IFED said: “Once again, crash for cash drivers have shown that they have no qualms in endangering the lives of innocent road users.

“Cases like this demonstrate the pure greed of calculated insurance fraudsters and the measures they will take to gain financially.

“The fact that the decoy vehicle was stopped by police on the exact same road just an hour after the first collision begs the question – were the group planning to cause another crash in the same way? Thankfully they did not and now all four fraudsters have been brought to justice for this deceitful and dangerous scheme.

“IFED will always work hard to locate and apprehend offenders wanted by the court for insurance fraud convictions, wherever in the world they may be residing.”

Case deep dive

Hairan drove a bright green BMW 320I onto the A1 motorway in Hertfordshire with Haider in the passenger seat.

Marufkhail drove ahead in a silver BMW 118D and as a slip road merged with the A-road he slowed down, causing a Peugeot 2008 to plough into the back of the green BMW at 50mph.

The impact of the crash deployed the Peugeot’s airbags, as well as shattering the windscreen and causing substantial damage to the front of the vehicle.

Hairan then sped off while the two that crashed pulled over to exchange details.

Around an hour after the collision occurred, Hertfordshire Police pulled over Marufkhail.

Following the crash, personal injury (PI) claims were made against the Peugeot driver’s insurer by Hairan, Haider and Azizi.

Azizi made his claim as a phantom passenger.

The claims submitted were almost identical, citing whiplash-type injuries sustained to the neck and back. The three reported seeking medical attention the day after the accident and it not impacting their work attendance.

Medical reports later revealed that Haider had been unable to work for four weeks due to the injuries, whilst Azizi had been absent for four months.

A £6,930 claim for the cost of a hire car was also submitted, which had been ordered as a replacement for the green BMW.

Marufkhail was arrested by the Home Office Immigration Enforcement for an unrelated matter in October 2017. Upon searching his property, documentation was seized relating to both the silver and green BMWs, which indicated a connection between the men.

IFED then arrested Haider and Marufkhail on the same day.

Marufkhail provided a statement denying his involvement, asserting he was not the driver of the silver BMW at the time of the collision.

Haider told officers he did not recall the exact events due to being on his phone, but confirmed Azizi was not a passenger and Marufkhail was driving the silver BMW ahead.

Azizi was also questioned by IFED officers. He admitted to knowing the other suspects and insisted he had no knowledge of the collision, in addition to claiming he had not attended a medical examination for the PI claim.