Fraudster claimed BMW had been smashed up while at Ipswich party

BMW that Shamim Ali from claimed had been vandalised outside a party.

A BMW that Shamim Ali from Norwich claimed had been vandalised outside a party - Credit: City of London Police

A fraudster who claimed his BMW had been smashed up while he was at a party in Ipswich has been sentenced.

Shamim Ali, of Ipswich Road, Norwich, made a claim that his car had been vandalised while he was attending a party in the town on December 14, 2018.

Damaged BMW that Shamim Ali claimed had been vandalised outside a party.

The front seats of a damaged BMW that Shamim Ali claimed had been vandalised outside a party. - Credit: City of London Police

The 53-year-old contacted Zurich, his insurer, saying that his BMW 318i's front and back windscreens had been smashed, along with the side window, while he was at the event.

The insurer's examination of the outside of the vehicle matched up with Ali's statement, but an inspection of the engine revealed it had suffered a catastrophic internal failure, which had caused significant damage. 

An insurance inspection revealed that the BMW had sustained a catastrophic internal failure includin

An insurance inspection revealed that the BMW had sustained a catastrophic internal failure including a hole in the engine. - Credit: City of London Police

Due to the nature of the damage, the insurers thought that the vehicle was being driven when it happened. 

This suggested that Ali must have been aware of the vehicle failing and that it could not have been caused by the vandalism. 

Further diagnostic reports found that the vehicle’s only key was last used in October 2018, meaning that the car could not have been driven from Norwich to Ipswich on the date that Ali stated.

Oil contamination to underside of BMW that showed it had suffered engine failure not vandalism.

Oil contamination to underside of BMW that showed it had suffered engine failure not vandalism. - Credit: City of London Police

Most Read

Zurich contacted Ali on multiple occasions to discuss the circumstances of his claim, but he maintained his account in spite of the inconsistencies. 

These discrepancies between the engineer's report and Ali's claim alarmed his insurer, which referred the case to the City of London Police's Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED).

Ali pleaded guilty on Friday, March 4 and was sentenced to 120 hours of community service. He was also ordered to pay £1,200 in compensation.

The front and rear windscreen of the BMW had been smashed in what was claimed was vandalism.

The front and rear windscreen of the BMW had been smashed in what was claimed was vandalism. - Credit: City of London Police

Detective Inspector Matthew Hussey, from the City of London Police's IFED, said: "What started out as a night of festivity would soon turn into the day that Ali set himself up for a criminal record.

“It seems that Ali’s engine had failed a few months before, causing costly damage to the vehicle.

"Rather than paying to repair his vehicle, Ali attempted to exploit his insurance policy by alleging that the car had been severely vandalised.

“Whilst this may seem like a victimless crime, fraud like this costs honest policyholders in the form of raised premiums to cover investigation costs and losses."