Woman jailed for role in insurance scam

She claimed she was hurt in a 'multi-vehicle crash' after suffering work-related injury

While suffering from a work-related injury in October 2010, 29-year-old Siti Arrayyan Hashim decided to make the most of it - by telling an insurer it had been caused by a "traffic accident".

Following her friend's instructions in a bid to benefit from a motor insurance scam he was masterminding at the time, she lodged a $5,241 claim with NTUC Income Insurance Cooperative.

This was for personal injuries caused by the "negligent driving" of one of its clients, who was purportedly involved in the accident.

Yesterday Siti Arrayyan, now 32, was sentenced to three months' jail for her connection to the staging of a multi-vehicle collision more than three years ago.

Now a chef, she is the first in this case to be dealt with, after pleading guilty to engaging in a conspiracy with Mohammad Shahel Mod Talib and Mohamad Eznillah Mohamed Razli to cheat NTUC Income.

Mohammad Shahel, 35, who suggested that Arrayyan join the scam when she was hurt at work, told her to claim she was a passenger in one of three cars involved in the "accident". Separately, he and seven other accomplices had staged the crash along Sungei Kadut Drive on Oct 9, 2010.

One of them was Mohamad Eznillah, 34, who claimed he was the driver of one of the vehicles and was charged in court last Friday for participating in a conspiracy to cheat the insurer by making fraudulent claims amounting to $31,490. He is out on bail and his case will heard again next month.

The court heard that in October 2010, Mohammad Shahel told Siti Arrayyan to visit a doctor and say her injury was caused by the accident. She did as he asked.

He also showed her photographs of two other men involved in the scheme, and told her to identify them as her friends and fellow passengers.

Under her former boyfriend's instructions, Siti Arrayyan later submitted documents to the insurer through her lawyers, claiming one of its clients had driven in a way which led to her injuries. This included a medical certificate from the doctor.

Just last month, four other men were jailed between six weeks and four months for providing their vehicles and posing as injured passengers in another fake road accident along Sembawang Drive. According to a Sunday Times report two days ago, General Insurance Association of Singapore executive director Derek Teo said the industry had received inflated and fraudulent motor claims amounting to over $140 million a year in the last three years. The maximum penalty for cheating and dishonestly inducing the delivery of property is a jail term of 10 years and a fine.