A mother and son have been charged with insurance fraud after the pair faked the mother's death to claim £140,000 worth of life insurance.
Arafa Nassib, 48, has been sentenced to 12 months imprisonment, and her 18 year-old son Adil Kasim has been given a 12 month community order.
The pair were sentenced on 12 July after claiming Nassib died in a car crash in Zanzibar in April 2016.
The case was referred to the City of London Police's Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) by Scottish Widows in November 2016.
The insurer was suspicious of the documentation provided by Kasim when he tried to make a claim against his mother's life insurance policy.
In May 2016, a claim was sent to Scottish Widows against two life insurance policies with a value of nearly £140,000.
The claim was submitted from the beneficiary of the claim, Kasim, who notified Scottish Widows by sending a letter with a death certificate from Zanzibar.
Scottish Widows was suspicious of the claim and an investigation was launched by its fraud team.
It was claimed that Nassib attended the Mnazi Mmoja hospital where it was documented she had been pronounced dead.
However, it was later established that she had not been at the hospital, nor had she been treated by the doctor who Kasim had named in a life insurance questionnaire.
It was later established that the death certificate and road traffic accident reports provided in order to make the claim were false.
Furthermore, the Zanzibar death registry office confirmed that Nassib was not buried at the location claimed.
The investigation found that Nassib flew back to Birmingham from Zanzibar on 6 May 2016, when she used her mobile to make several calls to her son.
Kasim was arrested on 22 December 2016. On his arrest, many items were seized from him including a mobile phone, a passport and flight tickets.
While being interviewed, Kasim admitted that he and his mother had planned the fraud and that his mother was now living in Canada to avoid detection.
He described their plan for Nassib to go to Zanzibar to visit family and obtain the necessary documents to fabricate her death.
Officers made contact with Nassib whilst she was in Canada. She returned to the UK on 8 February 2017 where she was arrested by detectives from the City of London Police.
During her police interview Nassib said that she was in debt, which was getting hard to manage and causing her stress.
Nassib admitted knowing her death had been fraudulently reported to the government in Zanzibar when she was there in April 2016.
Detective constable Daryl Fryatt, the officer in charge of the case said: "Nassib and Kasim exploited the insurance industry for their own monetary gain, going to great lengths to try and avoid detection. Nassib moved her entire life abroad simply to try and avoid the consequences of faking her own death.
"Today's case shows that those who commit insurance fraud will be caught and put before the courts.
"Our extensive work with the insurers in this case has led us to a successful conviction and these unremorseful fraudsters have finally been brought to justice."
A spokesperson for Scottish Widows said: "We have robust fraud prevention measures which enabled us to identify this fraud quickly and refer it to the City of London Police's Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department."
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