- Asan Akram, 45, staged accident between bus and car driven by his friend
- None of the 30 passengers on board were seriously hurt - but
- Insurers became suspicious when they received his report of the accident
- Police said incident is one of biggest crash-for-cash cons they have seen
- Convicted thief and drug dealer Akramhas now been jailed
A bus inspector risked the lives of dozens of passengers when he arranged for a double-decker to crash in a £500,000 attempted insurance fraud.
Asan Akram, 45, staged an accident between the bus and a car driven by his friend in one of the biggest crash-for-cash cons police had ever seen.
Convicted thief and drug dealer Akram had lied about his criminal record to get a job as night inspector for a bus firm, a court heard.
Asan Akram, 45, (pictured) staged an accident between the bus and a car in one of the biggest crash-for-cash cons police had ever seen
He arranged the insurance fraud by recruiting his friend Tariq Iqbal, 42, to drive in front of the bus in his Mercedes and slam on the brakes, causing the bus to plough into the back of the car on a busy Manchester street.
None of the 30 passengers was seriously hurt, but insurers were suspicious when they received Akram’s report of the accident in February 2011, followed by 29 personal injury claims for whiplash, totalling £500,000.
It is unclear how many of the passengers Akram knew, but all the claims were judged to be bogus.
Nine were arrested, but all were released without charge.
Akram was jailed for 16 months, while Iqbal received a 12-month suspended sentence and 250 hours of unpaid work after both admitted conspiracy to commit fraud at Manchester Crown Court.
An investigation revealed the bus inspector arrived at the scene within minutes, interviewing the unwitting driver and taking passengers’ names.
Akram has been jailed for 16 months after admitting conspiracy to commit fraud
But it was all an act. In the days before the crash he had been in contact with Iqbal more than 100 times to plan it.
The report Akram filed was so vague that bus firm Finglands’ insurers became suspicious and employed private investigators.
When the scam was uncovered a year later Akram, of Manchester, had vanished after being fired by Finglands for lying in his job application.
But police in London tracked him down in December 2013 after a tip-off he was seeking work at another bus firm – and thought to be planning a similar scheme.
By then, Iqbal, of Cheadle near Stockport, had scammed an insurance payout of £12,500, and Finglands had paid £42,000 in legal fees.
Defending Akram, Max Saffman said the bus official had turned to fraud in ‘financial desperation’.
City of London Police tracked Akram down in December 2013 when they got a tip-off he was seeking work at another bus company where he was thought to be planning a similar scheme.
Detective Constable Mark Reynolds from the City of London Police's Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department, who led the investigation, said: ‘This was a long-running and complex investigation which has ultimately proved that Akram and Iqbal meticulously planned to commit insurance fraud on a massive scale.
‘The fact that their attempted scam put lives at risk by causing a crash with a packed double-decker bus on a busy road at night was inconsequential to them.
‘They wanted half a million pounds from an insurer and were prepared to go to any length to get it.
‘But what both men did not reckon on was IFED and the insurance industry working together to identify and track down criminals and have them brought to justice.’
The conviction comes just days after insurer Aviva warned crash-for-cash scams are adding £400 million to motorists’ premiums.