Manchester

Manchester bus 'cash for crash' fraudster jailed

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Media captionThe crash between a bus and a Mercedes happened in February 2011

A bus firm worker who arranged a collision between a double-decker and a car in a £500,000 "crash for cash" scam in Manchester, has been jailed.

Asan Akram helped orchestrate a crash between the bus and a Mercedes on Wilmslow Road in February 2011 in an attempt to claim from insurers.

At Manchester Crown Court the 45-year-old was sentenced to 16 months.

Tariq Iqbal, who was driving the Mercedes, was given a 12-month prison term suspended for two years.

He was also ordered to carry out 250 hours' unpaid work.

Both men admitted conspiring to defraud the insurer of the bus, QBE, last month.

'Meticulously planned'

The convictions came after QBE referred suspicions about 29 claims it received following the collision to the City of London Police's insurance fraud enforcement department in January 2012.

The material passed to detectives included CCTV footage which showed the bus travelling along when Iqbal's Mercedes performed an emergency stop, causing the bus to slam into the back of it.

Akram, from Manchester, who had worked as an incident inspector for the bus firm Finglands, was arrested in December 2013.

Iqbal, 42, from Cheadle in Greater Manchester, was held in June 2012.

Investigators concluded Iqbal deliberately hit the brakes of his Mercedes to cause the crash while Akram acted as the "insider" who would produce a report to try to convince the insurer that the incident was genuine.

Officers found when he compiled the report, Akram did not follow the firm's protocol by flagging the incident to senior managers.

It also emerged during the investigation that he was later sacked from Finglands for lying about previous convictions on his job application form.

Phone records showed that Akram and Iqbal had been in contact more than 100 times in the days leading up to the crash.

Det Con Mark Reynolds said the fraud had been "meticulously planned". No-one was hurt in the crash.

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