Afzal Ramzan is not unique. There will always be people who use natural disasters and Mass Casualty Incidents to falsely claim someone is missing and presumed dead. The motive is often financial however on occasions the Lie might actually cover up something more sinister.
Afzal Ramzan aged 27, was a benefits cheat who made money out of the 7/7 London bombings. How? He made bogus claims for emergency grants supposedly to help his sister, who he said had lost her husband and son in 7/7. A complete and utter lie! He manage to make £2,387 from this lie and other scams.
At the same time, AR posed as his own brother in order to claim jobseeker’s allowance. His brother was in prison, at the time.
In Court, Afzal Ramzan of Gateshead, GB, admitted 15 charges of making false statements to get benefit. He already had a string of convictions for dishonesty, including deceptions and perverting justice.
How was he caught? His brother Yasin made a legitimate benefit inquiry shortly before he was released from prison in June, 2006.
Afzal Ramzan was jailed for 15 months for his benefits scam. Judge Beatrice Bolton said: "You don't know the truth from fiction. These were very unpleasant and unpalatable lies."
There are other people like Afzal Ramzan who have made false claims about people being missing in catastrophes, such as 911 and the Tsunami disaster. It is essential these people are contained and their motives exposed, as a warming to others.
There are also sick and disturbed people who send hoax communications to the relatives of people missing in natural disasters. Christopher Pierson, 40, from Riskington, Lincolnshire was charged with malicious communications and causing a public nuisance after sending some 35 emails to people who were searching for loved ones after the Tsunami. They had posted details of their loved ones on the Sky News website. CP wrote to them and claimed their relatives were dead. http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2005/jan/04/newmedia.indianoceantsunamidecember2004
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