Dashcam footage exposes police officer’s fraudulent insurance claims
A serving police officer, who claimed a piece of debris cracked the windscreen of his car causing injury and vehicle repair costs, has been sentenced after dashcam footage exposed his insurance claims as fraudulent.
West Yorkshire Police officer Mohammed Yasin Mulla was sentenced to 250 hours unpaid work to be completed within 12 months, plus court costs.
The 38-year-old police constable from Bradford was found guilty on Tuesday (February 11) by a unanimous verdict from the jury of one count of fraud by false representation following a five-day trial at Leeds Crown Court.
City of London Police Detective Constable Peter Gartland, who led the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) investigation, said: “This case shows that no one is above the law. The IFED 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.”
Mulla first came to the attention of the City of London Police’s IFED in January 2018, following a referral by Allianz Insurance, which suspected he had made a fraudulent claim. He had told the insurers that while driving his car along the M606 in Bradford a piece of debris flew off the van in front and cracked his car’s windscreen, also causing additional damage to the bonnet and roof.
Mulla also stated that the incident led to injuries to his neck and shoulders because he had to swerve and brake suddenly.
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 vehicle and personal injuries he had sustained. In total, these claims amounted to approximately £10,000.
In reality, dashcam footage from Mulla’s car revealed that a piece of polystyrene flew towards his car but missed the windscreen and the bonnet. It did not cause any damage to the vehicle, nor did it cause Mulla to swerve or brake suddenly to try to avoid it. 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 inquiries 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 it 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 remains on restricted duties.”
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 vain as all other criminals”.
Mulla has lodged an appeal about his conviction.
The IFED is a specialist police unit dedicated to tackling insurance fraud across England and Wales. Hosted by City of London Police and funded by members of the Association of British Insurers and Lloyd’s of London, the team acts with operational independence while working closely with the insurance industry.
Since its launch in January 2012, the unit’s investigations have seen a number of insurance fraudsters brought to justice, including a woman who exploited the Manchester Arena attack to make fraudulent claims, a North London gang that defrauded insurers out of £1 million and a serial ‘crash for cash’ fraudster.
In 2018, the IFED launched its #SteerClearOfFraud national awareness campaign to warn motorists about fraudsters who pose as insurance brokers to sell fake car insurance. The IFED then launched a second phase of the campaign later that year after Action Fraud figures revealed that 17 to24-year-olds were more likely to fall victim to so-called ‘ghost’ brokers.