THE last two defendants from the ‘crash for cash’ investigation into insurance fraud have been ordered to re-pay £243,119 under the Proceeds of Crime Act following a hearing at Luton Crown Court this week.
Kamsan ‘Kimmy’ Mahmood, aged 44, of Lincoln Road, Luton and Istafa Hussain, 36, of Lincoln Road, Luton, appeared at court on Tuesday (August 12) and were ordered to pay £192,000 and £51,119 respectively.
Both men must pay the money owed within six months.
The men are currently serving jail terms having been sentenced to five years (Mahmood – 4.5 years for the conspiracy and 6 months for a previously tried indictment of mortgage fraud) and four and a half years (Istafa) having been found guilty of conspiracy to defraud in September 2011. Their imprisonment followed a seven year investigation by Bedfordshire Police into mortgage and insurance fraud codenamed Operation Exhort.
Operation Exhort was a ground-breaking investigation into a criminal syndicate that organised a ‘crash for cash’ car insurance scam by staging road traffic collisions then submitting false insurance claims and resulted in a total of 37 defendants being brought to justice at a number of separate hearings over a period of three years.
The investigation by a small dedicated team of detectives represents one of the largest fraud rings the industry has ever seen.
Speaking after the Proceeds of Crime Hearing this week, Detective Chief Inspector Shane Roberts said: “It is inconceivable that criminals can leave the justice system still in possession of the money and assets they’ve acquired through their offending.
"No matter where you or your assets are, Bedfordshire Police will actively pursue you until those monies are identified and repaid.
“So far this year half a million pounds has been taken back from criminals in Bedfordshire, of which £95,000 has been returned to Bedfordshire Police.
"This has been used to sponsor further crime fighting initiatives and to support community based projects that will benefit the public, such as the ‘Bobby Van’,” he said.
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