Remember when people who were physically impaired in some way were routinely referred to as invalids (implying presumably that they were worthless or didn’t really count or something)? Bankstone News certainly does. Which might account for our initial confusion on reading press reports that a Bradford man had been jailed for selling invalid car insurance.

Once Bankstone News had twigged that it was the insurance that was invalid, not the cars or their prospective operators, a distinctly sinister story begun to take shape, a tale that told, not to put too fine a point on it, of decent honest Yorkshire folk getting royally fleeced by a skullduggerous scoundrel they’d innocently taken for one of their own.

The man in question, a certain Razzmatazz Iqbal has been accused, amongst other things, of being a ghost broker. Now, your classic ghost broker, as regular readers will doubtless recall, is a loathsome species of crepuscular bloodsucker who preys on unsuspecting vehicle owners, forcing them to fork out for suspiciously cheap motor insurance underwritten by non-existent underwriters.

What Iqbal was doing was something a little more subtle – or arguably a little more stupid – for instead of simply selling insubstantial insurance policies backed by non-existent insurance companies, he was actually buying real motor policies online under other people’s names from a “panel” of five insurers and then charging his victims the purchase price plus a handsome mark-up.

Whilst not particularly supernatural in character, Iqballs’ antics qualify as ghost broking in the limited sense that he was pretending to be a broker when he had not in fact passed a single one of the stringent array of professional tests, examinations, interviews, secret rites, and vetting procedures that a person must undergo to attain that exhalted status.

One particularly chilling aspect of Mr Iqbal’s crime, however, was that – according to crack police anti-fraud squad, iFEDs, who blew this case wide open – he pocketed over £45,000 by foisting these worthless, if not costless, insurance policies on to more than 100 Yorkshire persons on Asian descent who trustingly assumed that Iqbal (himself of Asian extraction) would have the best interests of fellow Asian Yorkshirepersons at heart.

Shame on you, Razzmatazz Igbal!



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