Mail on Sunday settles libel case with Bradford men

The Mail on Sunday has settled a libel suit from two Bradford businessmen and paid an undisclosed fee.

The story, headlined ‘How the car crash gangs net millions”, alleged that Mohammad Shokat and his brother Mohammed Sageer had been conducting a fraudulent and dishonest business making bogus claims on staged accidents.

An apology was printed in this Sunday’s edition of the paper.

Shokat, director of Premier Accident Management UK and his brother issued a writ against reporter Andrew Foxton and Associated Newspapers managing editor John Wellington seeking a minimum £300,000 aggravated damages. They said the story seriously damaged their reputations and had caused considerable hurt and distress.

The story followed an investigation by the paper’s Financial Mail on Sunday section, which sent two reporters to the firm’s main office posing as accident victims. The report said insurance firms were investigating claims made by Premier Accident Management.

Mr Shokat told the Bradford Telegraph and Argus: ‘We were labelled thieves, without any basis. If an agreement had not been reached I was ready to go to trial. I have never had anything to hide.”

The apology, on page four of last Sunday’s Financial Mail, stated the 18 March article contained ‘certain inaccuracies’and said the headline was not intended to refer to Premier Accident Management.

The article also incorrectly captioned a picture of Mohammed Sageer as his brother Mohammed Shabir Hussain, who is said to have no involvement with the business.

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