SINGAPORE - A member of a well-organised syndicate, who helped to stage 21 car accidents in a bid to make more than $1.1 million in fraudulent insurance claims, was jailed for 74 months on Monday (March 14).
Rahmat Mohd, 37, a former despatch rider, had pleaded guilty to 25 charges of abetment to cheat and attempted abetment to cheat. Another 88 similar counts were taken into consideration during his sentencing. He was part of a syndicate of at least 29 people.
The offences took place between May 2011 and October 2013 and involved 16 insurance companies.
In passing sentence, District Judge Low Wee Ping said Rahmat played a variety of roles which were critical to the motor insurance fraud.
As a principal player, he recruited phantom drivers and passengers or instigated the drivers to plant passengers in their vehicles to make more fraudulent claims.
In one case, Rahmat posed as a phantom passenger and submitted one of the highest claims - $52,000 - which fortunately was not paid out, the judge noted.
In total, he submitted 44 fraudulent property damage claims and 70 fraudulent personal injury claims, amounting to $1.14 million.
As a result of his abetment, $215,678 was paid by insurers.
The court heard that in 2011, Rahmat had agreed to help car workshop boss Sollihin Anhar, 42, to make false insurance claims, by collecting vehicles from their owners and driving them to deserted locations to stage traffic accidents.
He would position the vehicles in a pre-agreed sequence suggested by Sollihin, before causing one car to deliberately crash into the stationary vehicle in front of or behind it.
Acting on Sollihin's instructions, Rahmat also reminded the drivers to report the accidents in the Singapore Accident Statement.
Rahmat would earn about $200 for each vehicle he collected, and when he assisted the owners or drivers in making false motor insurance and personal injury insurance claims.
Between January 2012 and March 2014, 13 insurance companies lodged separate police reports regarding false insurance claims for traffic accidents which occurred at different locations.
Rahmat received a total sum of $1,800 from Sollihin for his role in the insurance scam.
Deputy Public Prosecutors Hon Yi and Chew Xin Ying had urged the court to impose a jail term of at least six years, saying a stiff sentence was necessary to nip motor insurance fraud in the bud.They also said that such offences cannot be tolerated.
Sollihin's case is pending.