An Iraqi refugee has revealed how he helped run a “factory” of false and fictitious complaints and claims for compensation against British servicemen who fought in the country.
Whistleblower Basim Al-Sadoon, 37, had an office in Basra, Iraq, and is thought to have helped arrange hundreds of fake abuse claims against the UK forces.
He told The Sun the scam was a “racket”, adding: “It was like a claims factory and it didn’t matter if the claims were true or false.”
The former fraudster discussed how clients sourced fake paperwork and complained about individual soldiers who were not even present at alleged incidents.
Bragging about connections in Iraq, he explained how a large number of his 300 clients invented allegations for money. “Word spread and they would come to me. It was all about money – people exaggerating sometimes what they see.”
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 15, 2016
“People were bringing papers randomly, there was no specific standards to accept cases,” he continued.
“Okay, you have a story and a little papers [sic] from any military camp. Also, you can get papers from Red Cross office in Basra fraudulently. You can collect some case elements. After that you start your story.
“If you have an old spot on your body from old torture, you can use it as well as evidence against MoD.
“If you get a slap in the face, you can say it was a stick or a gun. If you have been jailed for 24 hours you’ll say they put me in a very bad place, I have psychiatric problems.
“In Iraq, it’s easy to get doctors’ papers backing claims. Doctors for cash can give you many reports. Claims were exaggerated to make money.”
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson responded this week by saying he was “repulsed” by the refugee’s confession.
“Hundreds of brave and innocent British heroes suffered great pain at the hands of this sick get-rich-quick scam,” he blasted. “I’m repulsed by these vile revelations… and those responsible should be held to account.”
In one case described by the whistleblower, he and 17 other Iraqis made identical allegations against innocent British servicemen, basing their story on claims about Danish troops beating a man in his sleep.
“Same date, same hour, same allegations, same operation. It wasn’t Danish troops, it was British. All of us did the same,” he said.
Statement from Leigh Day following allegation in today’s Sun newspaper pic.twitter.com/rfWXlkMRqq
— Leigh Day (@LeighDay_Law) February 14, 2018
Law firm Leigh Day, who worked with disgraced Phil Shiner’s firm Public Interest Lawyers, submitted the claim. They contracted a British-based Iraqi middleman named Mazin Younis, 57, who employed Mr. Al-Sadoon.
Mr. Younis was paid £1.6 million in 2009 for passing clients to Leigh Day and received £500 from Phil Shiner.
Leigh Day denies any allegations that it knew of false claims and Mr. Younis insisted he had done nothing wrong.