THREE men have been convicted for their over a ‘crash for cash’ scam in Oxfordshire and further afield to fleece insurers.

The men were convicted at Reading Crown Court on Tuesday over seven collisions across the Thames Valley and Metropolitan Police areas and organising a further 76 collisions.

Nasir Mahmood, 32, of Morpeth Close, Whitley, Reading, Aniela Chaudhry, 39, of Alan Place, Reading, and Bernie Bautista, 43, of Elm Park Road, Reading, have been convicted of conspiracy to commit section two fraud and conspiracy to drive dangerously.

One of the collisions was at 7pm on February 29, 2012 on the A4074 just south of Benson towards Oxford.

Investigating officer Det Con Russell Prentice, of the Thames Valley Police Economic Crime Unit, said: “Crash for cash fraud has an impact on the safety of everyday road users when fraudsters choose to deliberately cause traffic collisions for their own financial gain.

“Figures from the Insurance Fraud Bureau estimate the cost of crash for cash fraud can be up to £30,000 per collision and the Association of British Insurers has calculated that insurance fraud in general adds around £50 to all of our insurance premiums.”

“Thames Valley Police will always undertake a complete, detailed and thorough investigation into persons who organise and participate in crash for cash fraud.”

Three crashes were in the London area and three in Berkshire, all between September 2011 and May 2012. The three convicted are due to appear at Reading Crown Court for sentencing on July 25.

Ben Fletcher, Insurance Fraud Bureau director, said: “Crash for cash is a national problem that costs almost £400m each year and puts innocent road users in harm’s way.

“When the IFB was established in 2006 it was to focus on detecting and disrupting scams like this and today’s convictions send a clear message to would-be fraudsters that this crime will not be tolerated.”