A mother who faked her own death in Zanzibar in an attempt to claim a £140,000 life insurance payout has been jailed for two and a half years.
Arafa Nassib and her son Adil Kasim pleaded guilty at Birmingham Crown Court to committing fraud by false representation after she racked up debts buying expensive furniture for her Walsall flat.
Using credit firms like BrightHouse and PerfectHome the 48-year-old she quickly ran into debt before hatching a plan to fake her own death in a road accident in east Africa.
Nassib had actually fled to Ottowa, Canada, and police were notified by her insurers, Scottish Widows, in November 2016, after the fake car crash in April that year.
The claim was submitted by Kasim, who notified Scottish Widows by sending a letter with a death certificate from Zanzibar.
However, when the claim was investigated by the City of London Police's Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED), the scam was revealed.
It was claimed that Nassib attended the Mnazi Mmoja Hospital where it was documented she had been pronounced dead.
But it was established that she had not been at the hospital, nor had she been treated by the doctor whom Kasim had named. Also a road traffic accident report was falsified by a family friend who supplied fake documents relating to her death before her son wrote to their insurer from the UK.
The court heard that Nassib, originally from Somalia but a holder of a UK passport, had amassed £80,000 in credit debts and was also planning to pay people smugglers to bring members of her family to the UK.
The police probe found that Nassib was in fact alive and had in fact flown to back to Birmingham before fleeing from their property to Canada, where she hoped to build a new life.
But Kasim was arrested in December last year and he admitted the fraud with Nassib arrested when she returned to the UK in February.
The pair admitted conspiring to commit fraud a life insurance and a critical illness policy, totalling £136,530.52, but no money was paid out in relation to the claim.
Jailing Nassib, Recorder William Edis QC said, according to the Daily Mail: "It was from beginning to end a pack of lies. This was an organised, sophisticated, carefully-designed plan that came close to working.
"Had Tanzania not been flagged as a high-risk country [for insurance fraud] it is reasonable to suppose you might have got away with it.
"Honesty in the insurance claims process is imperative, else the whole insurance system is at risk.'
The judge handed Kasim a 12-month community order.