In Brief

Gang stages Cardiff bus crash in insurance scam

Suspicions were aroused when none of the seven 'injured' passengers sought medical help at the scene

Seven bus passengers and a car driver have been convicted in what is thought to have been Britain’s biggest single crash-for-cash insurance scam.

Ringleader Merrick Williams rented a car before crashing into a bus in Cardiff, which had his seven friends on board, on 21 May, 2014.

When paramedics attended the incident on a busy main road, “none of those on board the bus required treatment,” says The Times. However, seven of the passengers later submitted claims for injuries including whiplash totalling £50,000.

CCTV taken from the bus showed that Williams’ car “passed the bus on two occasions before ploughing into the back of the bus at low speed,” says The Daily Mail.

While one passenger appeared to fall to the floor when the car hit the bus, none of the other passengers moved.

During a hearing at Cardiff Crown Court, it was said that insurance investigators AIG became suspicious after receiving personal injury claims from seven men who were on the bus.

Experts also checked the CCTV footage, road conditions, damage to the rental car and impact speed and concluded that it would have caused only a “minor vibration”.

“When investigators checked on social media they found that at least two of the claimants were already friends with driver Williams,” says the Mail.

The eight were taken to court in the biggest single case investigated by the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED).

After the hearing, Detective Constable Aman Taylor, who led the investigation, said: “The attempted fraud was in a league of its own as this is the largest number of claimants ever tried together in an IFED case.

“By planning the bus crash, the men deliberately put the safety of innocent people, including children, at risk in a bid to make money and take advantage of the personal injury claims system.”

Williams was jailed for 12 months and banned from driving for two years after admitting conspiracy to commit fraud. While the seven on the bus were handed suspended sentences and ordered to undertake community service after admitting the same offence.

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