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File picture of an accident. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Umm Al Quwain: A gang of five Arab men have been arrested in Umm Al Quwain for fabricating road traffic accidents in order to claim compensation from insurance companies, police in the emirate revealed on Tuesday.

Maj Gen Shaikh Rashid Bin Ahmad Al Mualla

Major General Shaikh Rashid bin Ahmad Al Mualla, Commander-in-Chief of Umm Al Quwain Police, said the crime came to light last Wednesday, September 18, after traffic police noticed on their system that there had been several incidents across a number of emirates involving the same people in the same cars over a period of four to five years. Twenty incidents were linked in all, including five in Umm Al Quwain and 15 in other emirates.

In each case the circumstances were the same. The gang of five men aged in their 20s and 30s would allegedly take already damaged cars to parking lots at night, where conditions were dark and there were no witnesses, and then claim that incidents had taken place, after which they would then file a police report and claim compensation. These cars were then never repaired however, enabling the gang to repeat the ruse all over again, until the sheer number of similarities eventually raised police suspicion.

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cases filed by the gang, including five in Umm Al Quwain and 15 in other emirates

Police are still trying to establish how much money was lost and how many insurance firms were affected, according to Colonel Saeed Obaid Bin Arran, Director of the Traffic and Patrols Department at Umm Al Quwain Police.

Police tracked the gang down to separate addresses in Umm Al Quwain and arrested them on Tuesday a week after suspicions were first raised.

The five suspects, four of whom were said to have carried out the crimes and one of whom masterminded the plot confessed under police interrogation to defrauding insurance companies by faking road traffic accidents and using already damaged cars that were never repaired.

The case has been referred to Public Prosecution for further investigation and to follow up with affected insurance firms.

How did they do it?
The gang of five Arab men aged in their 20s and 30s took already damaged cars to parking lots at night, where conditions were dark and there were no witnesses, and then claimed that there had been an accident. In all they filed 20 accidents with police and claimed insurance to cover the supposed damage over a period of five years. However, police became suspicious when the same names and vehicles kept cropping up in records. They swooped to arrest the five in Umm Al Quwain on Tuesday, a week after the crimes were first discovered.