“These people lived the high life for too long”.

The words of a senior detective in Huddersfield as a huge cash for crash scam was exposed.

The ringleaders of the massive crime - which netted them and others many hundreds of thousands of pounds - were behind bars last night.

And police confirmed they will face more court hearings to claw back their ill-gotten gains.

Det Chief Insp Paul Jeffrey praised the determination of detectives who ran Operation Thatcham, which investigated the fake insurance claims.

The officers dismantled a crash for cash scam operating out of Kirklees as a number of people were sentenced after a series of four linked court cases.

Sahir Mohammed, 37, of Uplands, Birkby, Huddersfield and Nadeem Khalid 34, of Laund Road, Salendine Nook, Huddersfield were the ring-leaders in the sophisticated scam.

 

Khalid received 4 and a half years for his role. He got involved soon after being rlelased from prison after serving a sentence for a near £1m fraud.

Mohammed was remanded for sentencing. He has previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud.

Operation Thatcham was a long and painstaking investigation into allegations of so-called cash for crash.

Police raided many houses and business premises in Birkby, Lindley, Salendine Nook and Crosland Moor in a number of swoops, which began as far back as 2011.

DCI Jeffrey said: ““Today’s sentences are the result of a painstaking investigation going back to 2011 involving complex enquiries and good ‘old-fashioned’ detective work.

“It shows that we take the issue of so-called ‘cash for crash’ scams very seriously and will take whatever action is necessary to bring those who involve themselves in this crime before the courts.

“These people lived the ‘high life’ for too long – they were driving around in the community in expensive cars and flashing their money about - but they were always having to look over their shoulder, worried when that knock at the door would come.

“Justice has today caught up with them and it is clear that members of the local community are happy with the positive action we have taken. These people were a blight on the good name of hard working people going about their daily business.

“This enquiry involved specialist financial investigators working closely with the Ministry of Justice and Motor Fraud Bureau to unravel the complex network operating in the area. But the scale of this fraud did not deter the team and from today people are behind bars thanks to their dedication and commitment.

“And our investigations do not end here – we will be looking to recoup their ill-gotten gains through the courts so that the money can be reinvested back into the local community.

The West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson also welcomed the message today’s sentencing sends out to the community.

He said: “This is an excellent outcome on a subject of particular concern.

“The scale of this offence really highlights the dedication of the investigating officers whose hard work paid off to the benefit of local people.

“I have heard first hand how insurance premiums have been affected by those taking advantage of the system through criminal means.

“I have now included road safety in my Police and Crime Plan which brings further focus on this issue and its wider implications.”

Ben Fletcher, Director of the Insurance Fraud Bureau, said: “Insurance fraud is a national problem that directly affects honest motorists and policyholders.

“Scams like these cost the industry nearly £400m each year; they inflate insurance premiums and the put innocent road users in harm’s way.

“Far from being a ‘victimless crime’, insurance fraudsters dip their hands in our pockets and make victims of us all.”

“We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with the West Yorkshire Police and put fraudsters behind bars to send a clear message to other would-be fraudsters in the area.”

44 sentenced for huge Huddersfield crash for cash scam: full list of those convicted - click here to read

Click here to take you back to more Huddersfield news.

Want to read, watch and hear more? You can download the FREE Examiner Apple App here, the FREE Examiner Android App here or you can view the paper as an e-edition on your Apple, Android or Kindle device by clicking here

To follow us on Twitter click here