Detective constable says fraudster ’had no regard for others’

A ghost broker who pocketed more than £300,000 by charging more than 900 unsuspecting motorists £300 each for fraudulent motor insurance policies has been sentenced.

Ikram Rafique acted as a ghost broker between January 2016 and December 2018 and sold fraudulent, manipulated motor insurance policies to unsuspecting policy holders, according to a statement released yesterday (1 August 2023).

He also used a bank account under another name to receive the broker fees associated with arranging the fraudulent insurance policies.

Rafique, 31, of South Road, Romford, was found guilty of money laundering and acting as an unlicensed broker following a trial at Inner London Crown Court.

He was sentenced to 24 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, at the same court and was also ordered to carry out 220 hours of unpaid work.

Meanwhile, his cousin and former co-worker Mohammad Hamad, 31, of Ashley Avenue, Ilford, was also found guilty of money laundering after he rinsed the funds obtained by Rafique. 

He was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, and ordered to complete 180 hours of unpaid work.

Detective constable Chris Kench, from the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) at the City of London Police, said Rafique “had no regard for others when he decided to act as a ghost broker, as all he saw was the pound signs in front of his eyes”.


The court heard that an investigation by IFED found that Rafique manipulated customer details to obtain cheaper quotes and then used the customer’s own bank card details to pay for the policies.

He would tell victims that a broker fee was needed to be paid into the account under the name of Qiuhong Chen – totalling between £200 and £300 per policy.

The fraudster then laundered the victim’s money through several bank accounts, as well as transferring funds to a money service bureau and laundering the proceeds out of the UK.

Hamad also received money into his own account from the Qiuhong Chen account.

A court production order was obtained and an analysis on the Qiuhong Chen account found that it received £302,036.71 in a 24 month period. 

The analysis also found that victims’ money was also being transferred into accounts held by Hamad, with the payment reference either stating a name or a number.

The primary insurer was alerted to the fraud in February 2017 when another insurance company provided documentation of a person who appeared to be a victim of ghost broking.

Resultant checks found that policy details had been amended and the documents provided by the second insurer had been doctored with their logos.

Several victims provided statements saying they had paid up to £300 into the Qiuhong Chen bank account and many stated they had spoken to a man called Mr Ikram.


Exactly 974 fraudulent transactions were paid into the account between 1 January 2016 and 31 December 2017 – totalling £208,200.

A further 311 third party payments totalling £73,913.55 were also discovered.

Considering the case, Kench said that it was “always important” that consumers check they were buying from a “legitimate source” and that their policy was valid.

“Whilst the offer of a cheap deal may be enticing, a fraudulent policy will end up costing you more in the long run in the form of a fine, points on your licence, your car being seized and crushed than covering the cost of a valid policy,” he said.