A serving police officer, who claimed that a piece of debris cracked the windscreen of his car causing injury and vehicle repair costs, has been sentenced after his own dashcam footage exposed his insurance claim as fraudulent.
Last week (Tuesday 11th February) Mohammed Yasin Mulla, 38, from Bradford, was told by Leeds Crown Court that he must now complete 250 hours on unpaid work (to be completed within 12 months) and that he must also now pay considerable court costs.
Mulla was found guilty, by a unanimous verdict from the jury, of one count of fraud by false representation following the five day trial at Leeds Crown Court.
Mulla, a serving constable with West Yorkshire Police, first came to the attention of the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) in January 2018 after Allianz Insurance suspected that he had made a fraudulent claim.
Mulla has told Allianz that while he was driving his car along the M606 in Bradford, a piece of debris flew off a van in front of him and cracked his windscreen.
He also claimed that the ‘debris’ had caused additional damage to the roof and bonnet of his car.
Mulla further tried to claim personal injury damages after he said that the subsequent heavy braking and swerving caused him to sustain neck and shoulder injuries.
Allianz then received a series of claims from an accident management company that was representing Mulla, including the cost of a hire vehicle provided to him, repairs to his car and personal injuries he’d sustained.
In total, these claims amounted to approximately £10,000.
After, during the investigation by IFED detectives, it transpired that a piece of polystyrene flew towards his car but missed the windscreen and the bonnet.
This came to light after dashcam footage taken from Mulla’s vehicle showed that the event had been captured on his camera.
Mulla did not brake heavily or swerve to avoid the polystyrene.
There was previous damage on his car, which he claimed was caused by the alleged piece of debris.
To further dispel Mulla’s claim, subsequent enquiries by IFED officers and Allianz with the driver of the van confirmed that it was empty at the time of the alleged incident, other than some polystyrene packaging.
Despite Allianz contacting the accident management company on two separate occasions requesting the original dashcam footage, a copy of the engineer’s report of the vehicle and the invoice for the hire vehicle, none of it was provided, and so they rejected the claim.
Detective Superintendent Richard Crinnion, of West Yorkshire Police’s Professional Standards Directorate, said:
“West Yorkshire Police expects the highest standards from its officers and staff.
“This case was progressed through the criminal justice system, and we note the outcome of today’s hearing.
“The Force’s Professional Standards Directorate continues to progress its own investigation into the matter, and with criminal proceedings concluded, we will now consider the most appropriate course of action.
“The officer has been on restricted duties, and we will now be reviewing his position.”
City of London Police Detective Constable Peter Gartland, who led the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department’s investigation, said:
“This case shows that no-one is above the law.
“The Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department works to identify and punish fraudsters, irrespective of their profession.
“Police officers are expected to be honest and act with integrity, and the vast majority do, but cases such as this one threaten to damage the police’s reputation.
“Mulla’s deceitful actions also harm the general public and have a knock-on effect by causing insurance premiums to increase.”
James Burge, Allianz’s fraud manager, said:
“This case demonstrates Allianz’s zero-tolerance approach towards fraud.
“It is all the more disconcerting that Mulla was a serving police officer at the time and proves no one is outside of the law.
“Dashcam footage is increasingly providing key evidence to combat fraudulent motor claims.
“What was unusual in this case, was that the defendant provided the dashcam footage that ended up incriminating him.
“The sentence handed to Mulla sends a clear message that insurance fraud is a crime and those that commit it will be punished in the same vein as all other criminals”.
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