Abu Dhabi Judicial Department Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: The Abu Dhabi Criminal Court convicted a group of 11 individuals for insurance fraud, and sentenced them to prison for up to 10 years.

According to the Court, the individuals would purchase vehicles and insure them at a higher than market price. They would then fabricate traffic accidents that allegedly damaged the vehicle to the point of writing them off, and use these as a basis for claiming the insurance payout.

The individuals received jail sentences between one to 10 years, and the Court ordered their deportation after the sentences are served. It also ordered the confiscation of all forged documents used for the fraud.

The facts of the case, as summarised by the investigations of the Money Prosecution in Abu Dhabi, state that the accused defrauded insurance companies by carrying out criminal activity that involved fabricating traffic accidents. The accidents enabled the convicted to claim insurance payouts.

How the fraud worked

The first accused individual purchased cars and registered them under his name, or under the name of one of the other convicted individuals. They had to agree to his participation, and others took advantage of his relationship with them, after which accidents were deliberately fabricated between them, so that they could deceive companies and seize the amounts of compensation for vehicle damage.

In the rationale for its ruling, the Court clarified that evidence of the crimes attributed to the accused had been proven from the investigations about the incident and the investigations of the Public Prosecution in Abu Dhabi, and the statements of the accused before the court, which proved that the funds of insurance companies had been illegally seized through accidents carried out in a way that the vehicles were not usable. This would cancel the vehicle traffic records so that the person in whose name the vehicle was registered received the compensation. This payout would then be shared with the first accused as the real owner of all the cars used in the commission of the crime.